What's the deal with me and mushrooms

Missouri, United States   
How in the world I ended up with this fascination is beyond me. All of a sudden, I started to see them all over the place, and mushrooms seemed like the coolest thing around. They appear seemingly out of nowhere, most of them grow really fast, they come in wild shapes and colors, they have a complex and mysterious life cycle (they're in their own KINGDOM, for God's sake), suddenly they're everywhere, you can EAT some of them, etc., etc. And they're very photogenic.

I mean, I've always enjoyed romping around in the woods, looking at bugs and flowers etc., but it wasn't until September of '09 that I realized the incredible diversity in the world of mushrooms. Once I started to LOOK for them, I was astonished (I was also astonished at how much I had missed before).

So now I am obsessed with mushrooms. Things could be worse.

What happened was, my pals Rob & Linda went for a hike. They came upon a bunch of lovely fluted orange mushrooms, wondered what they were, looked them up (http://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/chanterelles) and discovered they were chanterelles, a choice edible. There were a LOT of them. Rob took me back there and we picked a nice big bag apiece, went to our homes and cooked and ate them (sautéed in butter, first choice). I swooned. Suddenly, I got REAL CURIOUS about mushrooms, mainly because they seemed to be everywhere (in the woods, on lawns, up in trees, in parks, everywhere)--and now I am obsessed. Not only is there an abundance of easy-to-identify choice edibles (“easy to identify” unless you don't pay attention), the array of shapes and colors is insane...things that look like they belong in the ocean...wild colors...tiny ones that fit on a fingertip to huge fruitings weighing many pounds. Now, all I want to do is hike and forage and take more pictures.

My Flickr account is pretty active, because when I’m out looking for mushrooms I inevitably find all this other stuff—caterpillars and leaves and snakes, and all the tiny, lesser worlds I manage to capture with my point-and-shoot camera. I post a lot of stuff just as documentary, for other nature-and-science nuts, so we can learn learn learn. But mushrooms are my true love.

I don't mess with the color at all in my photographs; sometimes I edit the exposure a little. Basically, what you see is what I got.

Also, I hate the word "shrooms".


  1. A true convert! Thank heavens for the divine flavor of the lowly chanterelle, for it's power of conversion is phenomenal. Your photography is stunning! Thanks for such a sweet and beautiful blog.

  2. Aww, thanks! Seems that my delight is getting through.