July is one of the great mushroom seasons here in mid-Appalachia. Here are
some mushrooms we found walking around our place in Friendsville.
Mushrooms are like fruit of larger organisms called fungi that live in the
ground or wood or other places. Like us, fungi need to eat to survive;
some fungi like the cordyceps shown down below eat bugs! Others live off of
dead wood, helping to create soil. Many more fungi live in symbiotic
relationships with trees and other plants. The trees feed fungi sugar in
exchange for water and minerals that the fungi easily collect. Trees may also
work together with fungi to redistribute nutrients across the fungal network to
Mushrooms come in all shapes and sizes and right now many many shapes, colors
and sizes can be found in the woods so it's a good time to get out and wander
in the forest.
Click on any picture to see the full image.
Russulas are the most common large mushrooms this time of year in our (very
oak-y) woods. Russulas have white gills and are typically very brittle; their
stems often will break like a piece of chalk. They are important food for
forest wildlife, and appear in many beautiful colors.
Many delicious edible mushrooms are just now appearing in the woods, including
some of my favorites like the Bradleys. Here are a few from last week...