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The Colorful World of Mushrooms

When out walking in the woods I'm often chided for looking down at the ground rather than up and around. Judi and the kids say, "There he is, looking for mushrooms and moss again." The fact is, there are a lot of interesting little things on the ground that we easily pass by without ever noticing.

Mushrooms are fascinating because of the variety of their shapes and colors. Some are drab, but many are remarkable for their uniqueness. The same mushroom may even take on different characteristics as it goes through its growth cycle. For this reason, I find it difficult to positively identify many mushrooms, except those that are really unique. Some of the names are also colorful, like "Scrambled-egg slime" and "Yellow Fairy Cups."

The following selection displays the variety of mushrooms that can be found just by walking in the woods or the yard and looking down at the ground or on fallen trees.

The dimensions shown are the approximate actual size of the mushrooms.

Waxy Cap
(1" and ½" wide)
purple and white mushroom
(4" and 6" wide)
brown False Morel
False Morel?? (4" wide)
Scrambled-egg Slime
Scrambled-egg Slime (2" wide)
Yellow Fairy Cups
Yellow Fairy Cups (each cup 1/8" wide)
orange mushroom
(7" long)
Yellow Jelly
Yellow Jelly (¾" wide)
Orange Peel
Orange Peel (1" wide)
red mushroom
(1" and ½" wide)
tan mushroom
(3" and 1-¾" wide)
Mycena?? (10" overall)
Polypore (3" high)
mushroom gills
Gills underneath a mushroom (4" across)

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Copyright ©1996 Judi Schiller, Richard Schiller

March 20, 1997