Already, underground along the margins of our pasture, the thready future of our largest mushroom is taking shape. And with the first warm weeks of spring, the plate-sized yellow parasols of this fungus will appear, off and on, for six months. This is certainly the most visible mushroom around, and very familiar–the Deathcap (or Deathcup) mushroom, Amanita phalloides–a species name that I cannot verify to mean of or resembling a…well I can’t confirm that so maybe it was named after J Alfred Phallo. Who …

Delicious, Deadly, Deceptive Deathcap Mushroom Read more »

This collection of three images is posted just to remind myself what I’ve been up to these past few weeks photographically and botanically (though the latter term is only true in the era in which fungi were lumped with “everything not an animal” and therefore considered plants.) Since the ample rain of early August, we’re back into a rainless period and the above-ground parts have pretty much dried up–or rotted: been consumed by other fungi who see in their brethren a food source–nothing personal. …

Fungal Forays Read more »

The Kingdom Fungi is so varied in form that for mushrooms to be the sum total of our understanding of the group is a grotesque labeling that gives scant credit to the role these organisms play in the Bigger Economy. And yet, it’s understandable that mushrooms represent this group of living things as they are the most visible manifestation of a largely invisible life form. Mushrooms also are so interesting in their growth habits, shapes and colors that it is easy to think of …

And in the End… Read more »