View north from Hope Pass in Colorado


Runtrails' Home Page




More Photos

Appalachian Trail Journal



CT trail marker


Map from the Colorado Trail Foundation's poster.






Runtrails' Rocky Mountain Journal
Previous          Journal Topics by Date            Next



"Humor is a serious thing. I like to think of it as one of our
greatest natural resources, which must be preserved at all cost."
- James Thurber

This entry is mostly for fun.

I suppose some people will think I'm weird for finding humor in fungi, for Pete's sake, but I'll risk that. I find humor in lots of things!

After receiving some good feedback from my recent photo essay called "Fabulous Fungi," I found a bunch more interesting mushrooms when I ran Segments 5 and 6 on the Colorado Trail this week. So here are fifteen more fungi photos from the wacky world of nature, some comical, most simply interesting or unusual.

For example, I just laughed and came to a screeching halt when I saw these four mushrooms that reminded me of a Pac Man game, with one mushroom seemingly ready to gobble up its tiny neighbor:

How did that perfect wedge come out of there? And where did it go? It wasn't lying nearby. Most people would run or walk on by, wouldn't they??   <sigh>

Then there were the mushrooms that looked like they were moldy:

Can a fungus have a fungus?? I pondered that for a couple hundred feet.

So I won't be accused of exaggerating the size of some of these fungi, I photographed my shoe in the next two photos for perspective:

Pretty big suckers, eh? So are my feet!! My Montrail Highlines are men's size 10 (equivalent to a women's 11 or 12, which don't exist in this model - or most others).

This is definitely the largest spotted red mushroom I've seen on the CT (there were several pictures of them in the other photo essay):

There were lots of colorful flowers in these two segments, but only in the open meadows and hillsides. Numerous mushrooms provided the color in the shade, colors ranging from white-tan-yellow-brown to red-pink-orange.



Then there was this most unusual black fungus, shown below. I don't think I've ever seen a black mushroom! It was very interesting. The camera flash makes it look a bit gray, but it was more black "in person."

Another unusual specimen was this spongy light tan fungus in an interesting arrangement with other natural objects on the shady forest floor:

I was surprised how many of the mushrooms are just now peeking out of the dirt. It's late August, and some are still partially covered by the rich, crumbly compost of the forest floor. They will have a short life span, here at 10,000 to 11,000 feet in elevation. Before long, the snow's going to be flying.

Mushrooms come in all sorts of arrangements, like these clumps and clusters:


Or they can be wrapped up in one little ball all by themselves:

The one above has a very unique design, as do the other brown and tan ones below. Their patterns resemble feathers. Other designs similar to the next three resembled a turtle's shell and butterfly wings. Nature repeats itself!



While all the mushrooms above "stopped me in my tracks," I literally did a double-take when I saw the next scenario close to the trail. At first I thought someone had placed a rock in the middle of this tall grass-like plant. On close inspection, I discovered it is a mushroom growing smack dab in the middle, splaying the grass out in an almost-perfect circle:

How cool is that?? I think Mother Nature has a great sense of humor sometimes!

Hope you've enjoyed the nature show.

Next up: tales of the sometimes humorous, sometimes sad, often ironic, and always colorful lives of Leadville's "legends." Think Baby Doe Tabor, Doc Holliday, The Unsinkable Molly Brown . . .


"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, Cody, and Tater

Previous       Next

Send an e-mail message to Sue & Jim  

2006 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil