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Mushrooms Among Us

These Alien looking organisms can kill you or cure you. They can give you hallucinations or be part of a gourmet meal, and they’re just as likely to end up in a Science Fiction plot as they are to be the subject of a fairytale. The following mushrooms were all found in my yard and along the gravel driveway that leads to my mailbox. They seemed to have popped up overnight, as big as plates or smaller than a dime. I found over twenty varieties in one day. I gave some of them pet names:
1. Piece of the Pie
2. Venus of Willendorf
3. Sun Sombrero
4. Pottery Shards
5. Chocolate Truffles
6. Triple Scoop
7. Baby Bird Bath
8. A Fairy Trail
9. Mushroom Clown
10. Haunted Hands
11. Turtle Helmet
12. Lemon Shell
More Spore Lore: Many people do not know that mushroom identification is extremely difficult--not at all like identifying, say, trees. There are about 200 (natural) species of trees in North America, and a good field guide can usually help you figure out what tree you're looking at. In contrast, no one knows how many mushroom species there are (estimates range as high as 30,000 for North America); scientists do not even agree on what constitutes a "species" of mushroom or on how they can be identified; and most of the species that have been named so far require microscopic analysis for positive identification. ~ From mushroomexpert.com


This is beautifully done! You ought to write a book just like what you've done here. I love the haunted hands. Only you could have come up with that!! Beautiful shots, you are a lucky girl!!

Incredible photos. Now I'm hungry for mushrooms.:-)
Have you seen the "Les MisBarack" youtube video? It is awesome. I've got it on my blog.


I've been eating some of my neighbor's shitakes. I used to know how to identify a couple of wild mushroom for eating, but now I forget and feel reluctant to do it. Coming over to view...

love the haunted hands! Hallucinations or gourmet meal, as long as it doesn't kill me, it's all good :-)

I love these photographs! And, your creativity (naming them) is interesting and fresh. I like clown and sombrero the most, I think. I have always wished I knew more about mushroom identification. It would be great to eat some of our own wild ones, but since it is so risky and I know NOTHING, I would never do it. I agree with another reader - this is making me hungry for mushrooms!

As you probably know I am fascinated by the varieties of fungi that appear here on the east coast. I also enjoyed your creativity in naming them.

Spectacular! 2,3,9,10 I've seen the likes of in guidebooks but not in person.

aw hang, I'm not even going to try to translate that into Piratese.

Iove the many looks of shrooms think they are awesome,. Maybe I'll dress like one at Halloween.

Check out my friend Ruth's (aka starroot) hat that she wore to her daughter's summer wedding: http://www.looseleafnotes.com/notes/2008/06/solstice_wedding_outtakes.html 7th photo down.

As a long-time "tree-hugger", the statement from Mushroom Expert.com that there were "200 (natural) species of trees in North America" sounded awfully low to me. According to this web site:


There are "almost 1000 species of trees native to North America (north of Mexico)." Not to be nit-picky, but 200 just sounded awfully low! I would guess that by "natural" Mushroom Expert meant "native", though that term is a bit tricky to define.

Thanks, Jeff. I'm hoping that someone knowledgeable about mushrooms could name some these for real. More to come ...

I have seen quite a few mushrooms in the last week here, since we had a lot of rain from the storms. I didn't take the camera out for them, though. Maybe I should have. I love the last 4-5 of yours.

Colleen, Do you remember out grandmother could identify mushrooms? Also ask Kathy about the, "Alice in Wonder Land" ones found in her yard. I saw them with my own 2 eyes..........they were unbelievable?? Yellow with red spots. Really are all these mushrooms found in your yard? xo

Yes, Nana knew mushrooms but died before she could pass her knowledge onto us. All the mushrooms here are found in my yard and along the driveway that I take everyday to the mailbox. This was just a sampling of what I found!

That's some crop you have! Since I find all but the most common trees difficult to ID, I'd really have a hard time with these...I like your names :-)

What great names!

Mushrooms are so pretty and soft and velvety. On another blog I go to, she also posted pictures of mushrooms. I sent my daughter out to take some pictures of a huge mushroom in my field because I had the same idea. But she was dilly-dallying around and by the time she got there, it was gone.

On the big horse manure pile I have, black and silver mushrooms grow. They almost look like smoke.


Nice pictures...

I love the orange ones. I hadn't seen many of these before. And I had no idea there were at least 30,000 species. Yoiks.

#2 could be, "Tee-Off!"

All of these in the 2 posts are so perfect I can't think of any more!!!

Hi! I came here via Wine on the Keyboard..#3 my first thought "it's a turtle" ! I had no clue there were sooooo many types of mushrooms!
Now on to more read of your posts!

Colleen, These are amazing. I thought the bright orange ones I found in my yard this morning took the cake but now I don't know.

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