Every time I go for a walk these days, I need to tread carefully – because everywhere I look, there are mushrooms underfoot.
It’s been a wet fall (even by west coast standards), so our mushroom population is booming. On our property, I’m finding all kinds of specimens: large and small, smooth and wrinkled, colourful and dull, odd and ordinary, solitary and tribal. Many, like the ones in these photos, sport a dusting of fir needles, for it’s been windy as well as wet here in the Gulf Islands.
I have no competence in mushroom ID, so I don’t dare harvest any. I just look, admire, and from time to time – the weather and my aging knees permitting – I photograph them. (My garden kneeling pad and flexible-legged tiny tripod are helpful at those times, as is the judicious use of a bit of fill-flash.)
The group below sprang up last week, at the forest’s edge beside our pond – about the same spot where I saw them last year. That time, they stuck around for about two weeks, and I expect their visit will be equally brief this year.
I know, of course, they never really went anywhere when they disappeared last year – they were simply underground, where fungi like this spend most of the year. It’s only in the fall that they become visible to us, emerging to send up the fruiting bodies that we call “mushrooms”. That stage doesn’t last long – but while it does, it’s a photographer’s delight.
If you’re on Gabriola Island this Sunday, Nov. 20: don’t miss Gabriola Photography Club’s fall show at the Rollo Centre, noon to 4 pm. See you there!