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A Walk in the Woods And the FungI i found thEre

It was September 20, 2019, and in honour of 9/20, I decided to go on a mushroom walk.

At the time, I was living/working at an outdoor art installation in Nova Scotia. Part of which was a wooded area which was being transformed into a Magical Sculpture Forest...

The perfect place for a magical mushroom journey.

I had just seen an Instagram post by Paul Stamets.

It featured delicate tiny orange mushrooms that I had only seen before in fairytales.

I wondered if I’d find any....

I set off with the intention of discovering as many different mushrooms and fungi that I could.

Clustered Bonnet (Mycena inclinata)

After several minutes of walking along the newly cleared path

I stumbled across my first specimens, a bunch of Clustered Bonnets growing out of an old oak tree stump.

Initially...

I couldn’t see the forest for the trees.
Birch Polypore (Piptoporus Betulinus)

Useful fact: dried birch polypore can be used as tinder for fire-starting. The dried mushroom will accept sparks readily, allowing you to start a fire when other dry tinder is hard to come by. Historically, it was used to transport fire, since once lit, birch polypore will smolder for hours if not days.(https://practicalselfreliance.com/birch-polypore/)

I was only seeing the usual suspects,

but then they seemed more intriguing than familiar.

Orange Peel Fungus (Aleuria Aurantia)

Soon, things that would normally go unnoticed, my eyes were seeing crystal clear. The softness of the moss and the texture of the fungi were calling me to touch them.

I could hear a squirrel rustling through the freshly fallen leaves.

Old Man’s Beard (Usnea species)
Everything appeared more vibrant and my senses became more in tuned to all the intricacies of forest life.

I ventured off path, weaving in and out of tree branches, slowly stepping over rocks and rotting stumps. I soon discovered many more mushrooms of different colours and sizes.

Suillus Spraguei (Painted Bolete)

These beautiful mushrooms can be found under the eastern white pine which they have a symbiotic relationship with.

I was especially excited when I saw a couple of bright yellow caps peaking out of the autumn leaves. They were Amanita flavorubescens, the yellow cousin of the well known Fly Agaric or Amanita muscaria!

Yellow Blusher (Amanita Flavorbulbescens)

Then..

still glowing in amazement and fascination ....

I saw them....

Delicate tiny orange mushrooms!

There they were,

Orange mycena,

sprouting out of a decaying tree stump on the forest floor.

Orange mycena (Mycena leaiana)

I set off on this walk expecting to find a few common mushrooms but never expected such a variety of beauties!

I ended my walk with an all over glow and a grin from ear to ear.

I have always had a love of nature and have spent every summer of my life playing and exploring in the woods.

However, I rarely had the opportunity to do so in the fall, when most mushrooms and fungi are in season.

This walk ignited in me such a new fascination and curiousity for the world of mycology.

At the time I didn’t really know anything about the mushrooms I had found,

the identifications in this post are only guesses from my research after the fact.

But ever since, I have been taking in as much information as I can.

Always looking out for new fungi wherever I go.

This post is meant to inspire others to go outside and make their own discoveries, and to experience first hand the incredible beauty and intelligence of nature.

Please don’t consume any foraged wild plants or fungi unless you are or have consulted with an expert.

Created By
Carolyn Myers
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