Season still going strong
Even the most common of forest fungi take on a special place in the micro-landscape, probably because they only appear for such a short time.
SUMMIT COUNTY — Monsoon rains lingering into late August have spurred an unexpected bounty of late wildflowers and mushrooms. Often by this time of year, frost tinges the forest floor, and that generally ends the mushroom season. That will happen any day, but for now, new fungi keep popping up around Summit County, disappearing almost as fast as they sprout. You can find them almost anywhere where there are a few trees. Some species rely on living hosts; others help decompose the dead wood. And if you’re lucky, you might even find an edible giant puffball growing on your lawn or alongside the road (see the last photo in the set).
This yellowish ‘shroom contrasts nicely with the green moss and gray rock on the floor of a somewhat intact lodgepole forest near Copper Mountain.
Many species of fungi grow in a close mycorrhizal relationship with trees and other plants. The root-like mycelia of the fungi are interwoven with the fine root hair of the plants, enabling an exchange of nutrients, and sometimes protecting plants from pathogens in a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship.
An edible slippery jack, in the Suillus genus, grows beneath lodgepoles in Officer’s Gulch.
Ephemeral mushroom caps dry out quickly.
These simple mushrooms, sometimes called earth fingers, don’t have gills. Some of the species are edible, with a honey-like taste.
Old puffballs have opened at the top to release spores in little puffs of smoke.
An edible baseball-size puffball pushes through wet earth near Frisco, Colorado.
Filed under: Colorado, forests, mushrooms and fungi, Summit County Colorado Tagged: | clavaria, Colorado, Colorado mushrooms, giant puffball, Summit County Colorado