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Seattle. October 27, 2011.

Quiet in the forest today, cool enough under the thinning canopy that I was barely comfortable wearing a heavy sweater and a scarf. I'll need to haul out the winter jacket, the wool hat and the wellies soon, before the cold rains turn the paths to mud. Those paths are just damp now and their edges are ripe with mushrooms. My mushroom ID skills remain limited, and I don't know the names of any of these. Perhaps someone else can help.

The first grow only on wood that is just beginning to rot. They seem to prefer half buried alder logs and grow for about three seasons before they disappear. I've begun to make a game of trying to anticipate where they will show up each year. So far it's about 50/50.

Unidentified mushroom 1. About 2" high.
Unidentified mushroom 1

The second are new to me this year. They've sprouted in the rocky places along the edges of alder lined paths.

Unidentified mushroom 2. About 3" high.
Unidentified mushroom 2. About 4

The last are just too Halloween... I find them every year in the last weeks of October, always in the same place under the darkest canopy of Douglas Fir and Western Hemlock. They come up covered with a powdery scrim and quickly disintegrate into puddles of dusty black slime.

Unidentified mushroom 3. About 4" high.
Unidentified mushroom 3. About 3

October 27, 2011. The forest's mushroom season is peaking.


Where are you? What's happening there? Would you eat any of these mushrooms?

I'll be in and out starting around 1PM PDT.

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