Last year on the Appalachian Trail I had fun photographing
a wide variety of mushrooms and other types of fungi. I still haven't done a
photo essay to highlight some of those colorful fungi, but I will eventually.
Meanwhile, I'd like to do a similar photo essay now for some of the species I've
seen on the Colorado Trail this month.
I didn't notice any mushrooms down in the San Juan Range in
assuming they grow there, too, but weren't out yet. Some of the ones I've seen
since we moved north near Leadville in early August were just emerging from the
So I think not seeing them farther south was a matter of
timing, not a regional thing.
Disclaimer: I know next to nothing about mushrooms
and other types of fungi, and I don't have time to educate myself via the
internet this week. I don't know the identity of any of the kinds I'll show you
below, nor do I know which ones are edible and which are poisonous.
I do know that some of our friends are real mushroom
They LOVE to search the woods for edible types. Jim ran into Hans-Dieter
Weisshaar's wife, Susi, recently as she gathered mushrooms between Twin Lakes
and Hope Pass. Another German running/hiking couple that I knew in Atlanta, the
Sherwoods, frequently searched the north Georgia woods for edible 'shrooms.
Our Utah buddy, Brent Craven, who is camped next to us, has
also been busy hunting mushrooms recently and shared some good ones with us this
past weekend. He jokes that he lets his friends try them first. If they're still
alive the next day, he knows they're edible!
If you happen to know the names of any of these
mushrooms, let me know and I'll add them. I'm not comfortable indicating
if they're edible, however. I don't want to be responsible for someone's illness or death
because they read here that a certain type of mushroom is safe to ingest!
With those caveats, here are some of the interesting fungi
I've seen in the last couple of weeks along the Colorado Trail. Since I don't
know any better, I'll categorize them by color:
I believe that every mushroom shown here was
growing below treeline except the next golf ball-sized one, which was in the
tundra in Segment 7:
That's a little larger than real life so you can see the
details. Most of the rest of these photos show the fungi smaller than
real life, and they were all growing under or near trees. Most fungi seem to
like shade and some moisture.
BRIGHT RED MUSHROOMS
These are the ones that really stand out along
the trail! I especially liked the ones with the white spots.
Hope you find your own fabulous fungi on your
next trip in the woods!
Next up: Leadville's mining legacy.