September 11, 2011

A most fascinating, colorful weekend

Can you identify these mushrooms?

Generally, this blog is dedicated to all things plants, not fungi. But when I stumble upon a unique fungus, I'm as fascinated as I am with plants. I can't identify mushrooms, though. Can you? I could look up the names, but it's always fun to ask bloggers and Blotanical friends to share their expertise.

Those two mushrooms were nestled among the Cedar mulch in small garden beds near the front of our cottage. This was the last "summer" weekend up there, and boy was it a beauty! The mushrooms got us started on a fun weekend of discovery, which also included tons of Black Walnuts.

We don't harvest the Walnutstoo much work! If you know anything about Black Walnuts, you know how difficult it is to crack their multilayer shells. And you also know how messy the endeavor can be. Maybe we should try to sell someone with the proper equipment.

The lot is full of Black Walnut trees, which means it's not the best location for a vegetable garden. But that's OK; we don't do much gardening there. Mainly we fish, forage, and appreciate nature. And we try not to disturb it too much. I usually spend a lot of time on this bench looking out at the lake, casting a rod, or reading a book.

Funny thing is, this weekend the view was more strikingly beautiful looking back from the dock to the shore. The Cattail reeds are wearing rainbow hues that reflect like a watercolor painting onto the water.

Next time we visit the cottage the air will be chilly; summer will be gone. But the colors will be even more vibrant. And the lake will be waiting.

*Note: All photos were taken with my cameraphone.

(Please join the fun for the "Garden Lessons Learned" meme. I'll be writing a post about the entries on Sept. 22. But it's never too late to share lessons learned in any season. Thanks to all the participants!)


  1. I am not that familiar with mushroom names, but you have some very interesting ones.

  2. Your lot sounds like an idyllic spot to connect with nature. Love the Owl pic!

  3. Identifying fungi from pictures, or using pictures, is an iffy business. The coral fungus is probably a species of Ramaria many of which look alike to me. The black one is not so easy; my best suggestion is Peziza badia. You could have asked us to ID the nut!

  4. Don't know anything about mushrooms, except I don't like them in my garden! The picture of the reeds is beautiful. My mother was looking for some black walnuts to make a cake the other day. They are hard to find in the store. But, no thanks on having to harvest them! You are right - they are too hard to get out without the proper equipment.

  5. The squirrels in our yard have been trying to bury walnuts, skin and all, around our yard. I keep finding them here and there and toss them somewhere else. They seem to get their job done in the end, because I also often have walnut saplings in the spring!

  6. What a fabulous refuge, I wouldn't want to touch it either, just sit back and enjoy the view.

  7. I'm no help with identifying your mushrooms, but I sure would enjoy sitting on the dock on your bench with you! What a beautiful place--I hope you have more summery days to spend here this season.

  8. @Sage: Yes, weird huh? I don't think I've seen them before--at least I don't remember them.

    @Bridget: It's nothing fancy, but it's definitely relaxing.

    @Phactor: See, I knew I could count on you to help identify the fungi. I'm sure they're poisonous? I'll look up the names you mention. Thanks.

  9. @Holley: I'm with you on the shrooms. If I'd found them in my gardens at home, I would have removed them. I wish I'd brought my camera along for the Cattails photo, but the cameraphone was a good stand-in.

    @Julie: Those darn squirrels sure are industrious! They're fun to watch, but they mess things up quite a bit.

    @Janet: Through my recent posts, I'm realizing how truly lazy I am. Well, after working more than full-time and having other responsibilities, I guess I deserve a little lazy time?

    @Rose: Yeah, it's a great spot for reflecting (no pun intended). I think the blood pressure drops a bit when we're up there.

  10. That photo of the bench on the wharf overlooking the lake is so inviting.
    Interesting mushrooms ~ I can't identify them. I do remember harvesting black walnuts tho and what a chore it was to get to the shell. Very tasty once accomplished and my Mom used them all winter.