Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Explore Outdoors ~ what pops up after rain

Last week when I walked over to the garden to check the rain gauge (9/10 of an inch) I noticed a couple mushrooms had popped up. So I decided to take a 5-minute nature break, which edged into 10 minutes, and then longer because I kept finding cool things under the pines and out behind the garage. 
It was a Great Day for Fungi! And for the things that nibble on them. Here's a few of the fungi, and one saprophytic plant that I discovered. Next time it rains, go on a fungus-looking walk in your neighborhood.



Lichens. Who doesn't like lichens? They grow on tree bark, old picnic tables, rocks... in and around moss. Some are crusty and some are like flat leaves.



Coral fungi look just like ... corals! Some come in fantastic colors. Those growing under our trees are white, sometimes yellow.

These are Pinesap (Monotropa hypopitys) - a plant that uses fungi to get its food from the surrounding pine trees. They have scaly stems and many nodding flowers. They range in colors (reddish to white) though ours look a lot like bleached pinesap!

Sometimes I'm just curious about what eats the mushrooms. I don't know, but it would be neat to catch fungus-nibbling squirrels, slugs, insects in the act of dining.

Even though I co-authored Funky Fungi: 30 Activities for Exploring Molds, Mushrooms, Lichens, and More with Alisha Gabriel, I am still learning about mushrooms and lichens and other things in the Kingdom!

What will you discover about the Fungi in your neighborhood?


  1. I take backyard nature breaks, too! It’s a great way to clear my head when I’m working on a project and thinking gets muddled.

    1. It is, indeed. Sometimes I just go sit on my porch and listen to the sounds: leaves flapping against each other, birds calling, crickets and bees.