A Multitude of Mysterious Mushrooms

Mushroom2In the PNW, you can find mushrooms in your lawn, growing on trees (and, if you have a moisture problem, even in your house). Mushrooms like it soggy – think dripping moss in the rainforest soggy. Slow-moving giant slug slime soggy. Squishy, oozing mud soggy.

It’s been wet here in KY for a stretch, and mushrooms have appeared. Everywhere. As a rule, we don’t eat mushrooms unless we know for certain that they’re edible. Wild mushrooms, like other wild plants, can easily be misidentified by novice foragers. Caution in eating mushrooms seems to be instinctual, at least in some animals- our older dog who is otherwise very food adventurous will not eat mushrooms (unless smothered in spaghetti sauce, then they don’t really count). Seems like it might be hard wired.

The ducklings don’t seem put off by the mushrooms, though – to our shock, one little duck grabbed a mushroom on her way out of the run in the morning. She’s still with us, so we’ve concluded that the mushrooms are either not poisonous or the amount she consumed was insufficient to cause illness. Whew! Even if they aren’t edible, they’re sprinkled throughout the pasture, so removing them all would be nearly impossible.

It seems a bit weird that the mushrooms are flourishing here in summer. Will giant snails appear next? We’ve also seen some small white puffballs (remember squashing those as a kid to see the cloud of spores spew forth?), and some very delicate, tiny mushrooms that look like flowers. We’ll send the mushroom photos off to an expert for identification – in the meantime, we’ll stick to eating ones purchased ones.