Friday, May 25, 2007

Fungus Amung Us

Okay. Yes, that title is really bad. But, for better or for worse, that's what pops up into my head whenever I see interesting mushrooms or other forms of fungi growing in my yard.

We cut down the cottonwood that had died from beetle infestation earlier this spring. With all of this damp weather, there has been an interesting crop of mushrooms growing on the remaining stump and above the roots underground. This photo to the right is of the mushrooms growing above the dead cottonwood roots, taken in early May.

I know almost nothing about mushrooms, but these mushrooms growing immediately adjacent to the stump appear to be a different species than the ones pictured above, which grow further away from the stump, out in the grass. The photos were taken on the same day.

The third variety of fungus that caught my eye earlier this month was a series of these interesting red jobbies. As far as I can tell, they are some form of stinkhorn, although the head of the species pictured in "A Guide to Kansas Mushrooms" does not look much like the "head" of the ones that I found in my yard.
With all of the cool moisture over the last two days, it's probably time to look for some more interesting fungi. Maybe I can even teach myself a thing or two about what I'm looking at!

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