Mushroom Mysteries

Mystery mushroom #1

~

the fungi kingdom

feed, recycle, and connect

nature’s grandmother

~

Mystery #2

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.

Mystery #3

More fun facts courtesy of BBC and Leaf and Limb.

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.

Mystery #4

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.

Lake Wilson

Enjoy the mysteries!

66 thoughts on “Mushroom Mysteries

  1. Yet another beautiful, inspiring, comforting and educational post, Brad. THANK YOU! So many mysteries still to be revealed here on planet earth… Our fungi grandmothers are amazing!!!! So grateful to them and to you for learning more about them…

    Liked by 3 people

  2. LOVED all of the information you have gathered here Brad… Yes I knew the connection especially with the trees and Fungi and the nutrients etc….
    And you have to KNOW your mushrooms too… I know I spent many a happy hour gathering field mushrooms as a child with my Dad.. Some as big as tea plates.. But you need to identify them…
    Lots of great photos Brad, and Loved your Poem ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Great post, Brad. I love how you describe the life and work of mushrooms.
    It is a very popular delicatessen in Sweden and I am sure in many forested countries. When I was there recently it was โ€œmushroom pickingโ€ seasons and many
    people stop to pick. I know well some but would only trust the ones who have long
    standing knowledge. They can be deadly but the safe ones are delicious.

    Miriam

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Beautiful mystery mushrooms Brad! Love reading all the info about them and like you, I love exploring all the plant and fungi wonders even if I don’t know their names. They’re just full of amazingness. Mystery Mushroom #2 reminded me immediately of cacao nibs atop custard lol! A faery delight for sure. You and your readers might enjoy this article about mushrooms and their language of 50 words: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2022/apr/06/fungi-electrical-impulses-human-language-study?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mushrooms are so fascinating! How lucky to have so many near you to photograph and see. One day I’d love to take a trip where I do nothing but drive to places with cool mushrooms and photograph them. Also, I may take a tiny gnome with me for the photoshoot! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is truly fascinating! I knew some of these things but did not know the wonderful smell of rain on the earth was from mushroom spore release or that they are closer to animals than plants. Hmmm….

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow, Brad. Coolest post I’ve read in a long long time! I’ve always been a fan of fungi of all sorts, but now my mind is blown. I knew almost none of this about these incredible creatures. Thanks so much for your photos and research, and for sharing them here. And I’m thrilled to hear that you’re on the trail again. It’s going to be a lovely autumn for reconnecting with nature. โค

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Mushrooms! Who knew they had such mystery, yet I lived near a mushroom farm many years ago. They’re born in the dirt! Once a year my guy and I visit a town in PA that celebrate mushrooms for a week! Amazing mushroom soup in every restaurant’s menu. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  9. I love love this post and all the pictures. Your enthusiasm for mushroom and the fungi is well conveyed here, Brad! Thank you for this wonderful read. Iโ€™m also delighted you are getting outside. Mushrooms also have wonderful medicinal qualities for us humans. Cordyceps is my favorite for strengthening the lungs. Cordyceps is also the fungi that turns caterpillars into zombies. Thinking about language and communication: I saw Taniaโ€™s link, too, and Iโ€™m reading it now! I didnโ€™t know about having up to 50 โ€œwords.โ€ So very cool.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Enjoyed reading a.l your mushroom info Brad… I had read about the link between our tree roots and fungi and found it amazing that they are so important in our eco system! what a mystery they are… maybe we could all try them and put them on the map! Surely they do more good than harm. I passed a big mushroom in our woods the other day, but the fear came up that they might harm me! Whatโ€™s that all about other than what weโ€™ve been made to believe is false and theyโ€™re all really good for us! Within moderation. Thanks Bradโค๏ธ Sending love x

    Liked by 1 person

  11. You’ve got something special with your ‘pond life’ and access to escape into the outdoors and find such delectable as mushrooms and Lake Wilson ๐Ÿ™‚ Your description of our fungi friends is a classic and fits them perfectly: “feed, recycle, and connect, natureโ€™s grandmother.”

    As summer moves into autumn, I hope this gives you time reconnect and create a spark for the last quarter of the year… a little discomfort always makes the adventure that much more memorable ๐Ÿ™‚ Wishing you well, Brad, and look forward to see the fall with you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the kind support Randall. Yes, I’m grateful for the easy access to nearby lakes and woods to explore. But my soul yearns for some travel with new places to explore. Maybe we’ll have a colorful autumn.

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      • When I had returned to Seattle this summer, there was a similar feeling I had as well. I was restless and had my reliable standbys to explore but like you wanted something a bit more. Then found the Sierra option and within 30 minutes jumped and made the commitment. So, when your colorful autumn arrives… get on line, find something, and jump ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ May autumn treat you well, Brad ~ take care.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Those are great suggestions Randall. I need some adventure, but we’ll see if I can muster up the courage to act. Today’s post will explain the reference if you’re curious. Take care my friend. ๐Ÿ˜Š

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  12. Beautiful images and a fascinating subject. With Covid, I needed to get out and a local duck pond saved my soul. So much life in it, so I painted it.
    Nature is amazing at times. And having grown up in Florida, she can also be devastating.

    Liked by 1 person

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