Mushrooms filled the mossy forest of Doubletop Mountain on Aug. 9, 2014, when I hiked the mountain with a group of family and friends. We pointed them out to each other as we hiked along. Red, eggplant purple, yellow with white spots — they came in all colors, textures and colors.
I took photos of some of the boldest and brightest.
I wont bother captioning the photos. I’m not a mycologist, and it’s far to easy to misidentify fungi. But for those of you who want to learn more about mushrooms, check out the Maine Mycological Association, which holds field trips and forays on a regular basis during warm weather, as well as meetings and slideshow presentations in the winter.
A few interesting mushroom facts to get you started:
- In ancient times, it was believed mushrooms were created by thunderbolts because wild mushrooms appear after storms, according to a mushroom fact sheet compiled by Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom.
- Also from the handy fact sheet: a population of honey mushrooms in the Blue Mountains of Oregon is the largest known organism in the world, spanning 2,200 acres.
- Why add mushrooms to your diet? Well, they’re a great source of vitamin D, riboflavin and D vitamins, such as niacin. They provide minerals such as copper and selenium. They’re low in calories and sodium. And all varieties are free of fat and cholesterol, according to a pamphlet by the University of the District of Columbia Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health, which includes a few mushroom recipes.