By: Pat Coate
You can’t go for a hike without seeing some variety of mushroom or other fungi. I have seen many types over the years and have been fascinated by their many shapes, sizes and colors. So I decided to start taking pictures of them in hopes of someday identifying them. A couple weeks back I went to the library and checked out a book touted as “the most comprehensive mushroom guide ever, with over 1,000 color photographs.” The lady handling the checkout didn’t so much as bat an eye, for which I was grateful.
The book immediately gets your attention with a discussion of poisonous species, like the dreaded Death Cap, and of poisoning symptoms ranging from an array of digestive nuisances to coma and death. I’ll just focus on their pretty shapes, sizes and colors and not dwell on their more sinister side.
I decided to start my ID quest with the three photos I’ve posted today, all of which were taken this last September. After spending an hour scouring 1,000 photos I think I have it narrowed down to about 5 choices for each picture. Other than being much more cooperative about getting their picture taken, I’m not sure which is easier – fungi or bird identification. I’ve taken my best shot at the IDs, but I am not sure of any of them. If any reader knows the correct ID I’d appreciate it if you’d let me know. Thanks.