Our teacher was my old friend Dennis Sheridan, who is a great photographer, mycologist, and entomologist. This is the bounty he collected this morning and spread out on our nature table. He gave me two candy caps to dry on my windowsill because "when dried, they emit a warm, maple syrup scent."
Today was perfect. Valentine's Day, 75 degrees, the gardens bursting with life, and a chance to go on a mushroom walk at one of my favorite places, the Dallidet Adobe (built in 1859) in San Luis Obispo, California.
The old adage is that a picture is worth a thousand words-so here goes. Look for the miracles hidden in plain sight and enjoy the beauty!
Look at the top of the photo and you'll see round shapes. These are called Bird's Nest fungus, and they produce little basidocarps (fruits) that look like eggs. These make my heart go pitter-patter when I find them.
Two adorable young girls collected these.
This is called Scleroderma for its hard skin.
You have to admit that this Russula is perfect for Valentine's Day.
Pig's Ear feels like latex and is supposed to be edible, but it didn't look very appetizing to me.
Maybe if I were desperate?
King Alfred's Biscuit. I thought it looked like a walnut, but when cut in half you can see the concentric circles inside it.
Elve's Saddle has an indentation in the center that makes each one resemble a small saddle.
This one sent me to the moon and back. This is an earthstar. When the weather is dry, it is a tight, hard, black ball, but when the rains come, the ball opens up and produces the star. Dennis gave me one, and I am going to soak it when my grandchildren come visit. It will open in about 10 minutes.
Coral fungus. Doesn't it look like coral plucked from the sea? This fungus likes to hide underneath rocks, logs, etc.