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Taking a mushroom break for the holidays

December 19, 2014

Let’s take a break for the holidays from the often unpleasant chore of debunking invasion biology and reporting on the destructive projects it spawns.  We will share some photos of the mushrooms in our neighborhood.  There is a bumper crop this year because of the heavy rains after several years of dry weather.  They don’t last long, so let’s enjoy them while they’re here.

We know next to nothing about mushrooms and in the spirit of a holiday break we haven’t done any research in preparation for this post.  If there is someone amongst our readers who knows something about mushrooms, we invite you to correct anything we’re saying or add any information that might interest others.   And in the interest of public safety, our readers should understand that we assume none of the mushrooms we have photographed are edible.

Mushrooms are the “fruiting bodies” of the fungi that live underground.  They emerge briefly to distribute the spores that will disperse fungi farther afield.  In other words, mushrooms are sort of analogous to the flowers and fruits of plants, where reproduction occurs.

Here are a few mushrooms now blooming in our neighborhood:

 

mushrooms3

mushrooms

mushrooms nestled in dandelions

mushrooms nestled in oxalis

mushrooms nestled in oxalis

Not the prettiest mushroom, but one of the biggest.  This one was over 12 inches wide.

Not the prettiest mushroom, but one of the biggest. This one was over 12 inches wide.

This colony of mushrooms was even bigger!

This colony of mushrooms was even bigger!

Hundreds of tiny mushrooms growing out of the trunk of a big magnolia tree.

Hundreds of tiny mushrooms growing out of the trunk of a big magnolia tree.

 

Here are a few mushrooms taken in San Francisco’s parks in December 2012 by Janet Kessler and published by the San Francisco Forest Alliance.  We republish here with permission.

mushrooms SFFA 4 mushrooms SFFA 2 mushrooms SFFA 1 mushrooms SFFA 3

Addendum:  One of our readers has sent us pictures of mushrooms taken recently in her neighborhood in San Francisco.  She has identified these mushrooms.  

Mature Parasols - note hand for size comparison

Mature Parasols – note hand for size comparison

Stinkhorn

Stinkhorn

Cage fungus.  The odor will attract flies into the cage.

Cage fungus. The odor will attract flies into the cage.

Happy Holidays and thank you for your readership!

christmas-holly-4

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 19, 2014 2:39 pm

    One of our Facebook friends has recommended a website for information about fungi and mushrooms: http://www.fungi.com/

  2. December 22, 2014 11:40 am

    Beautiful! Thank you!

    I keep thinking of further sensible arguments against the nativist fanatics. Don’t you think it is reasonable that besides starting with themselves and most going back to Europe, they should also refuse to eat anything that is not native to where they live, which would mean everything they are eating, from vegetables, to fruit, to meat, dairy, etc.? No honey either. No sugar, coffee, chocolate, wine, etc.

    Otherwise they are hypocritical and imposing their fanaticism on the native wild animals that they themselves refuse to live by.

  3. Peggy Murphy permalink
    December 22, 2014 3:59 pm

    Lovely pictures!

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