Posted on February 16, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
A break from winter
A parasol mushroom growing in a forest in Upper Austria. This is a variety I’ve not yet found in Colorado, though the guidebooks say a similar species does grow in the U.S.
FRISCO — After writing a story about the importance of biodiversity, I went back to a folder from last July to look over the mushroom images I shot during a few forest visits in Austria. The biodiversity story got me thinking about how some of the mushrooms I found in Europe were completely different from anything I’ve ever seen in the West, while a few other species were almost identical. Why is it that some species are common on both sides of the Atlantic, while others are more specialized to either the Rockies or the forests of Central Europe? I’m not really sure, but I think it has something to do with the plant communities. Since some fungi are in specialized symbiotic relationships with certain species of shrubs and trees, they may not be able to grow if those plants are present. Maintaining healthy forests requires making sure that all the constituent elements of the ecosystem are there, and in Colorado, we know so little about the fungi that are a key part of the ecology that we may just be stumbling in the dark. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, Colorado, Environment, Forest health, Morning photo, mushrooms and fungi, photography | Tagged: Colorado, forests, fungi, mushrooms, photography, Travel | 1 Comment »
Posted on August 30, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
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.
Filed under: Colorado, forests, mushrooms and fungi, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: clavaria, Colorado, Colorado mushrooms, giant puffball, Summit County Colorado | Leave a Comment »