Summer mushrooms!

Although we tend to think of mushroom hunting as a fall experience, the recent rains have resulted in the appearance of many mushrooms here in August!  On a recent hike to Pratt Lake (north of I-90), I found this grouping of young Turbinellus...I love the ridged stem, the open tops (where the spores are released) and bright yellow color!  Remember, mushroom and other fungi are just the reproductive parts of the fungus; the rest of the organism is under the surface of the soil!  An (admittedly crude) analogy I like to use is: imagine walking along and seeing groups of cherries popping up on little stems out of the ground...but somehow the entire cherry tree is flat and totally hidden beneath the soil!  The mycelium ("body" of the fungus) is spread out like a net under the soil (on in the decaying body of a tree), and what we espy is the vesicle containing the reproductive spores that we call mushrooms.  This is just a preview of the mushroom bonanza we will see this autumn after we get a rain event or two...happy mushroom viewing!!!



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