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Fall Fungi

This fall I have spent a lot of time wandering aimlessly, enjoying being outside when it isn’t raining. The fungi has been very good so far, and a wide range of colors and types.

I don’t harvest mushrooms however. While I know some well enough, to be blunt I don’t eat them – it isn’t worth it to me to be wrong. For me, I just enjoy looking down (or up on trees) and finding them. The squirrels love some of them it seems. And I love looking – it gives some purpose to my wandering I have found.

As we have cleared out the choked, nearly dead forest on our land it has allowed moisture and daylight to finally penetrate onto the forest floor. This has brought an explosion this fall of fungi. In particular, the stumps of Hemlock have been popular.

Of all forest mushroom, these are one of my top favorites. I love watching these giants push up through the forest floor, disturbing the soil, and debris to come up. Some are dinner plate size, and the small animals knock them over and munch away.

With all the wood chips and downed trees, there is nutrition for the fungi to push up.

So many varieties, in a tiny space, on a Hemlock stump and around.

Around dead Alder, these tiny mushrooms strike up. I know exactly what these are and no, I am not telling anyone where they are. A healthy forest has a wide range of plants – some can heal, some can kill and some can alter reality. When you hike in a healthy forest in fall, slow down and look at the ground. There is an entire ecosystem your feet can easily crush, of tiny plants.

Consuming a Hemlock stump.

Forest floor debris.

Pushing up through Alder leaves.

Stump mushrooms.

Curvy and wavy, pushing up through the debris.

And this fascinating one.

~Sarah