The Fungus is Among Us

When Matt and I were in Yellowstone National Park over the Labor Day weekend we were astounded by the volume and variety of mushrooms we saw.  Every single trail we traveled was lined with them.  There were pink ones, orange ones, white ones, yellow ones, smooth ones, flat ones, pointed ones, and bumpy ones.  They had sprung up in the grass, on fallen logs, and in the bare earth.  I had never seen such a proliferation of mushrooms before in my life.  I wonder if my nephew from Washington would have been so amazed as I was.  There are loads of fungus in that perpetually moist clime, but not so in our arid state.  Much of Montana and the surrounding region, including Yellowstone, experienced quite a rainy August though and the mushrooms were capitalizing on all that moisture.  I find fungus to be so interesting.  I'm not confident enough to harvest my own for eating, but I am keen to stop and admire them!  Mushrooms are pretty amazing.  Check out this video, Six Ways Mushrooms Can Save the World, if you want to learn a little more about just how amazing they are!  Matt and I have spent a good share of time in Yellowstone and we've never seen the fungus so prolific.  Nature has an incredible ability of being different each time she is encountered.  Each visit to the forest or meadow is new.  Each season holds different possibilities.   Its not as if I could say, "Oh, I've seen that already. Or been there already."  Nature is so dynamic and ever-changing--as illustrated by this remarkable mushroom bloom.  That is why I keep going back over and over and over again....
The long grass was speckled with mushrooms and a few late wildflowers.
This one was almost as red as a tomato.
This photo in no way does justice to the countless hundreds of teeny-tiny mushrooms that were growing at the base of this tree.
These were flat like leaves or paper.
This one was my favorite.  I like the little white bumps on top.
Some of them were pretty huge.


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