the fungi kingdom
feed, recycle, and connect
Here are a few of the many mysteries of mushrooms courtesy of the BenitoLink Reporter.
Did you know that fungi are the largest organism growing on the planet? They silently feed and shape the health of our soils, plants, trees, and vast ecosystems. One patch of Honey Mushroom fungus in Oregon extends 2,385 acres and weighs an estimated 440 tons! A large mushroom can produce over a billion spores a day. And that wonderful smell after a rain shower; it’s the smell of spores released by the rain! Fungi break down organic matter to recycle nutrients for plants and trees in their vast underground networks of mycelium. Some call them the grandmothers of our ecosystems, aiding in the cycles of life.
Fungi are a kingdom of their own, neither plant nor animal, but closer to animals.
There are at least 350 edible varieties, with millions yet to be studied.
215 species can send you on a hallucinogenic trip.
Fungi are being used to break down plastics, clean up oil spills, and make biofuel.
They allow trees to “talk” to each other via mycelium networks.
Fungi can turn ants into zombies by infecting their brains.
I found all four of these mysterious beauties on my short hike around Lake Wilson, a small lake just a few miles from my apartment. It’s nice to be getting outside again to hike, bike, explore, and enjoy nature. The days are relatively cooler in the mid to upper 80s. It’s weird when 86 F feels good! We’ve had nights in the mid-60s after having mid-70s most of the summer. As I mentioned in another recent post, I don’t know the names of many of the plants and mushrooms I find, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying them.
Enjoy the mysteries!