Mushroom Eaters

I found this clump of mushrooms growing in one of my neighbor’s yards.

Here’s a closeup of the mushrooms.  I have the National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms, but I still find it very difficult to identify mushrooms.  What can I say about these mushrooms?

  • The bark mulch they are sprouting from actually comes from local tree trimmings and it is a very deep layer.
  • They seem to have crowded gills.  Gills are on the underside of the mushroom cap and look a bit like webbing.  See photo below for a better look at the gills.
  • They appear to have a growing season from May to June.  But, since our weather has been extra cold and wet, it is hard to say how typical this might be this year.

Do I know enough to make an ID?  No way.  Why not?  For one thing, I didn’t get a good photo of the mushroom underside to be sure of what the gills look like.  Also, there are several different mushrooms in the field guide that seem like possible matches.  Since some of the possible matches are poisonous, I will NEVER eat a mushroom I find in the field.  Better safe than sorry, just like I’ve said before about spiders.

Take another look at the photo above.  Does it look like something DID take a bite out of it?

I think we caught this slug red-handed.  Yes, slugs eat mushrooms too!

  1. The infinite variety of mushrooms that work on the earth’s housekeeping team is so amazing—some ugly, some beautiful. My ongoing question about them in an evolutionary sense—why the beauty?

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