Toadstool Foray

It feels so wonderful to be in the woods this time of year. The cycle of nature is so obvious, so vibrant, so crunchy beneath the feet and so colorful overhead.  A perfect time for hunting mushrooms!

With a group of others, we took to the forest looking high and low for a group of organisms that are actually more closely related to humans than plants are to humans — fungi.

Once you look, these ecosystem engineers are everywhere in all their iridescent glory…

…or fan of colors…

…large or small…

…some pretend they are sea creatures (coral mushrooms)…

…while others act like footballs (pigskin puffball)…

…and some just seem to burst right out of the trees (puffballs).

At the end of our hike, we clustered around a table and set out to identify what we could.

One of the mushrooms we gathered belonged to the species that is considered to be the largest organism in the world (2,000+ acres).  Fungi are a lot larger than most people think — when you see what you call a mushroom, you are only looking at the fruiting portion of a vast organism underground.

Some  of the fungi we found were edible, some were poisonous, but all are immensely important to the continuation of life — helping us to transform the old into the new, providing food, and creating a web throughout the soil that supports and sustains everything that grows.

Thank goodness there are fungus among us…ha!

Shared on Frugally Sustainable.

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2 thoughts on “Toadstool Foray

  1. Your photos are beautiful! Who knew? Peter says, ‘Wow, I always thought they grew in containers in grocery stores! Now I know where to look for them.” We will have to plan a fall mushroom foraging field trip with you guys!

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