If Mushrooms Could Fly


If mushrooms could fly, they might look like this. Doesn’t it look like it is ready for take off? Maybe it looks like it is dressed up as a ghost for Halloween. I thought it looks something like the flying nun. Regardless of what it looks like, it was so weird that I took its picture.

I can not explain why it is in this weird position. It appeared just as the weather was warming up, and most of the earlier mushrooms were already gone or deteriorating. Perhaps the upper surface dried out a bit in the sunlight, and tightened up on the lower surface that remained more hydrated. Since I did not go back after getting this picture, I do not know what it did afterward, or how long it lasted. Perhaps it really did fly away!

This mushroom was just a few yards from where I got the picture of those associated with oak root rot fungus, Armillaria mellea,which many of us know as honey fungus. https://tonytomeo.com/2018/12/02/the-humongous-fungus-among-us/ Those mushrooms grew and deteriorated back in December. The other five types of mushrooms that I got pictures of to post along with a later picture of the oak root rot fungus mushrooms for a ‘Six on Saturday’ post were found just a few more yards away in another direction. https://tonytomeo.com/2018/12/29/six-on-saturday-shrooms/ They did their thing later in December, but still a few months ago.

There are always some sort of mushrooms out and about in riparian environments closer to the creeks and streams. They are just not as abundant now as they were during the rainy weather late in winter. Those out in drier and warmer spots that do not get watered regularly do not often develop so late into spring. They seem to know how to exploit the favorable weather.

Six on Saturday: Shrooms


It is unlikely than any of these are related to ‘shrooms’ or ‘magic mushrooms’, the psychedelic mushrooms Psilocybe cubensis; but this is Santa Cruz County. I would not know one if I saw one. I think that #4 looks like pancake; and #6 looks like a strawberry. All except #1 were found within only a few feet of each other. They showed up immediately after the rain, in spot that had been dry all summer.

If #1 looks familiar, it is because it is the dreaded oak root rot fungus, Armillaria mellea. It was was at an adjacent building where another less developed colony of the same was featured in ‘The Humungous Fungus Among Us’, https://tonytomeo.com/2018/12/02/the-humongous-fungus-among-us/ . The colony that was featured earlier developed into mushrooms just like those shown here, but by the time these pictures were taken, had deteriorated into a sloppy puddle of chunky goo from a bad 1980s horror movie. It looked like someone ate a bucket of chocolate covered olives, and threw up. To make matters worse, the whole mess was shimmering with the squirming of maggots, and exuded an aroma that was appropriate to visual aspects of the situation. Wow! I am grossing myself out, and I experienced it already.

When I compare picture #1 of the more developed colony of oak root rot to the earlier picture of the less developed colony. I sort of wonder if some of these other pictures are redundant to each other. Could #4 be a more developed form of #3? Could #5 be the deteriorating phase of #2? Well, I don’t know. I am just a horticulturist, not a mycologist.







This is the link for Six on Saturday, for anyone else who would like to participate: