Alone in the Forest

Marty CohenCalifornia, Carmel Valley, Landscape, Trees, U.S.8 Comments

Alone in the Forest

A wild mushroom sits alone in an Oak forest

After the recent heavy rains, the ground in Carmel Valley has been well saturated. This, plus the cool temperatures has given rise to wild mushrooms or different varieties. We live within what one might call an Oak Tree forest. This mushroom was growing, alone, on the hillside behind our house. It caught my attention because it was lone and because its coloring both contrasted and blended with the ground below the Oak trees.

I will state, up front, that I am not an expert on wild mushrooms. And, if anyone reading this is such an expert, please feel free to comment below on what type of mushroom you think this is. I spent some time researching and comparing this mushroom to images on Google and studied its morphology, and came to the conclusion that this might be a Death Cap Mushroom (Amanita phalloides). The Death Cap Mushroom is responsible for the most fatal poisonings from mushrooms in the world.

Honey Mushrooms

Honey Mushrooms (stock photo)

What disturbed me about discovering this possibility is that the photos posted on the internet of the Death Cap Mushroom show it in various stages during which their appearance is quite different (making identification more difficult). They also have an  appearance similar to edible Honey Mushrooms (Armillaria melee) which tend to grow at the base of trees and on tree stumps. These mushrooms usually grow in clumps or large groups. They are pathogenic (parasitic) to living trees and can damage or kill the trees.


8 Comments on “Alone in the Forest”

  1. Beautiful! I have had some wonderful mushrooms growing in our yard and love to photograph them. I compared one with my little dog and it was almost the same size as her. 8-10″ in diameter.

  2. I will forward this to our friend Bill, his son is a PhD expert on mushrooms. I am more intrigued by the fact that Friday and Saturday I just decorated our Christmas tree in brand new mushroom and toadstool ornaments…

    1. Thank you Shari. I’ll be interested in what Bill’s son says. Also, interesting you chose a mushroom theme for your Christmas tree this year. I hope your holidays a lots of fun. And, as I’m typing this, BNill replied to your email and confirmed that it is a Amanita.

  3. I was struck by how much the mushroom took on the appearance of a woman from the back, wearing a dress and an enormous hat – and that was before I read Cherise’s comment. Lovely picture, with the focus and highlight clearly on the mushroom – nicely done.

  4. That is so beautiful and interesting. It looks like the start of a really artistic movie where people live underneath the mushroom. Obviously very little people. Really cool picture.

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