I know I said I wasn’t going to start foraging for wild mushrooms—that I’m only going to grow them, and only varieties that I know aren’t poisonous and that won’t give me any kind of weird allergic reactions. However, I strongly feel that if I continue to grow mushrooms out in nature, even common cultivated varieties, I really ought to have a knowledge base surrounding mushrooms in general, especially the ones growing wild in my area.
In this quest to educate myself, I’ve been taking photos. I’m a visual learner and the first step in identifying mushrooms, I imagine, is to notice them on the ground instead of trampling all over them unwittingly. Once you get a little rain, it’s amazing how many of them you can find if you pay attention! Below is a small sampling of the more interesting-looking wild mushrooms I ran across on my walks. They are not necessarily all edible, though I suspect some of them might be. I did not eat or touch any of them—just photographed them. I assume all mushrooms are poisonous unless somebody knowledgeable, trustworthy, and physically present on-site tells me otherwise, and, even then, I’m skeptical. Have I ever wronged this person in any way? Could he or she be after my vast fortunes?
Still, I’m having fun trying to match up my photos to the ones in my mushroom identification book. I have a few guesses as to what some of them are, which I’ll share in the comment section. However, they are only GUESSES, Google. I will not be held accountable for other people poisoning themselves. You should never eat a mushroom if you’re in any way unsure of its identity and edibility, right? That’s only common sense.
If I have any mycologist readers, feel free to join the discussion in comments. The more people that disagree with my barely-educated guessing, the more I’ll have to fixate on the details and potentially be forced to learn something.
Who knew mushrooms could be so beautiful?