This is a series of photos which appeared on a previous incarnation of my blog; they were taken during the summer of 2004.
Some of my mushroom friends:
This is a fully-grown specimen of Agaricus abruptibulbus leisurely shedding its purplish-brown spores. This fungus is a native woodland-dwelling relative of the common button mushroom sold in grocery stores. It has a faint anise-like odor.
Notice the diaphanous partial veil hanging skirt-like from the stem. This membrane concealed and covered the gills when the mushroom first emerged.
A top view of the same mushroom; at the time I wondered where that spider was going:
One of my favorite species of fungi is Lepiota americana. It grows on compost, wood-chip, and sawdust piles — anywhere organic matter is decaying, really. This is a photo of just-emerged young ones, gathering their energies for the spore-dispersal efforts:
Notice the drops of dew clinging to the little mushrooms — this was a morning shot.
A top view of the scaly cap of a full-grown americana. The species is good to eat, and as it cooks it exudes a yellowish gravy:
For several years during my Knox County, Missouri days I grew shiitake mushrooms on 40″ lengths of oak logs which were four to eight inches in diameter. Here’s a just-emerged button which later grew to prime eating size in about two days:
I’ve had an affinity for fungi of all types for many years, and not just the edible species. One of my favorite photographic subjects is the Destroying Angel, a deadly species of Amanita which can kill a heedless and unfortunate person who eats a single bite. A beautiful fungus, and for some reason the specimens I’ve seen are unaffected by the insects and larvae which infest other species! But that’s a subject for another post; it’s getting late…