Pop-up Forest

We’ve been having a run of wet weather here in Blacksburg. Today is Tuesday and it’s been raining nearly non-stop since Saturday. Sometimes heavy, sometimes light, but almost always steady.

Rain or shine, though, Dash insists on our daily walk. Honestly, I don’t really mind being out in the rain unless its very cold and/or windy, or if the water is coming down in sheets. In any of those cases I usually insist that we wait for a break in the precip, if possible. Dash is a patient fellow. Mostly.

This morning we walked through a cloud-like mist and, as we passed a low knoll, I was charmed to discover a miniature popup fungi forest. Swaths of buffy-colored mushrooms where just twelve hours earlier there was only wood-chip mulch.

One of the things I love about using the same path every day is that I do notice new features, even when I’m not being especially observant and mindful. And, interestingly enough, noticing something new is usually enough to bring me back to the present. To Now. Here. This.

I snapped a couple of photos and, when we were back inside, warm and dry, I did a little research. I’m not a mycologist (a biologist who specializes in fungus) by any stretch of the imagination (I can recognize a morels (Amanita muscaria) and not much else) but I’m relatively confident these are honey mushrooms (Armillaria tabescens) — that’s a common and edible species…

…IF my identification is correct but please don’t take my word for it! I won’t be eating them but the local squirrels may changed their meal plans for the next few days.

What surprised and delighted you during your time outdoors today?

[Thanks to the following photographers for making their work available through the Creative Commons license:  Plant Collector.]

 

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