Rain = Mushrooms!


What’s all the rain good for?


This was made abundantly clear to fifteen Master Naturalists who met Peggy Plass at the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum at James Madison University on Sunday, September 23rd to walk, search for and learn about mushrooms. It was awesome! Peggy’s enthusiasm was infectious and soon people were traipsing off the trails on the hunt. People would call out, “Peggy!” and we would all take notice.

We saw many very cool ‘shrooms like Jack O’ Lantern (Omphalotus olearius), which has bio-luminescence. Yes, that’s right! It glows in the dark! Another great find (and a new one for our fearless leader!) was the “stinky squid” (Pseudocolus fusiformis) which did, indeed smell like rotten seafood.

People who attended: Allen and Shelley Baker, Derek Blyer, Chip Brown, Kathy Byers, Andrea Dono, Stephanie Gardner, Sue Gier, Kathleen Mahanes, Ben and Morgan Martindell, Kathy McKenzie, Ann Murray, Elizabeth Pass, and Elaine Smith.

In addition to the mushrooms mentioned above, we found: giant puff balls, turkey tail, Coral mushroom, lion’s mane, wood ear (Auricularia auricula-judae), red polypore (Phlebia incarnata), death cap, red and green Russula, stinkhorn, elegant stinkhorn (Mutinus elegans), gem studded puffball (Lycoperdon perlatum), and bicolor bolete (Baorangia bicolor).

The Continuing Ed Committee is going to make sure we schedule this field trip every fall!

– Elaine Smith, Cohort IV, September 2018

Top photo by Elaine Smith is of Peggy Plass pointing out a cluster of Jack O’Lantern mushrooms at the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum at JMU on September 23, 2018.

Click on a photo below to see a slide show of the photos and find their captions.

Find more photos from this trip in Elaine Smith’s Flickr album Mushroom Field Trip and Chip Brown’s Google photos album Mushroom Walk at Arboretum.