April 9, 2013

Fleeting Fungi

One great thing about garden paths mulched with woodchips is watching all the fascinating stuff that emerges from the mulch after a rain. When the woodchips have come from a variety of sources, it makes the fungal show all the more interesting. Most of what appears is stuff I've never encountered before (like last May's dog vomit slime mold, for example.) Last week's rain caused another round of fungal blooming, and we got out the camera to document the short-lived display. Having absolutely no idea what the scientific names of any of these fungi are, I made up my own names--either way, they're beautiful and fun to watch.

The first one I spotted looked like something you might find in a tiny, magical fairy garden:

Delicate fairy mushroom

Just a few hours later, however, it had transformed into something decidedly less cute:

Drippy, yucky mushroom

Two batches of caramel-colored mushrooms that sprouted closer to the chicken area at first looked like they might be mini and regular versions of the same variety, but it's been a couple of days since these shots were taken and the mini ones never got any bigger, while the larger ones got even larger.

Clutch-of-eggs mushrooms

Caramel laced mushroom

 Then there was this understated, grey-hatted mushroom:

Slim-stemmed with a grey top

Rounding out this week's fungal extravaganza was this fat, traditional-looking mushroom which popped up in the front yard leaf litter:

A typical toadstool

That's it for variety so far this month, but as long as we're talking fungus, the woodchips produced an entirely different set of fungal fruit back in drippy December and while I did capture them on camera, I never managed to post them to the blog. Here they are now:

Tiny cup saucer-shaped mushrooms in a potted plant

There were lots of these mini toasted marshmallow types

This one reminds me of a sugared candy of some sort

These near-microscopic fungi were clinging to the gutter

Finally, just for a spot of bright color amidst all these neutral tones, here's a picture of a mushroom Mr. English photographed not in our yard, but up at Cold Canyon while on a hike in December:

Cold Canyon mushroom, next to the creek

Some of these things are so teeny and fleeting--pushing through the mulch mid-morning only to melt or transform over the course of just a few hours--that you really have to pay close attention to find them. I've discovered that I love finding new (to me) types of fungi in the yard, so this probably won't be the last time you see them on this blog.

No comments:

Post a Comment