Mariton: Fall Fungi
by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager
As dry as it has been this fall, there are still mushrooms to be found in the woods. This group of shelf fungi was found on a downed Tuliptree recently. (The logs lying in the forest always hold moisture.) Several years ago, I worked hard to learn to identify mushrooms. The important thing that I learned was that the diversity and number of species of fungi is amazing. There are so many identical looking mushrooms that can only be differentiated by a spore print, or an even more subtle difference. The most important thing I learned is that poisonous mushrooms can kill you before you even know you are sick. (In other words, by the time you start feeling sick the fungi has already destroyed your organs.)
The great thing about being a nature lover is that you don’t have to eat something to enjoy it! Sometimes I enjoy just looking even if I don’t know its name.