August 7, 2016 [LINK / comment]

Magical mushroom tour*

While hiking in the mountains yesterday, looking for birds, I came across quite a variety of mushrooms, and I posted a "sampler" montage of the best photos I took on Facebook earlier today. The variations in color, shape, and size were indeed "magical"! I have a mushroom field guide, but it pertains specifically to southern states, and I'm not sure if it includes mushrooms seen in the highlands of Virginia. I may need to get a more complete field guide. So, I will have to postpone identification of the species below until another day... I previously posted such a montage in my July 16 blog post about birding, and before that on July 18, 2013. Otherwise, I was surprised after checking my blog archives that I had not done more such mushroom montages, or individual species photos. I'm pretty sure I took a photo of a rare "Dog Stinkhorn" mushroom two or three years ago. Anyway, I updated the Mushrooms photo gallery page, for the first time in quite a while.

Mushroom montage 06 Aug 2016

Mushroom montage, Shenandoah Mountain and Chimney Hollow, August 6.

* Obviously, that title is an allusion to the Beatles' album Magical Mystery Tour, and to the fungus species Psilocybin. (See for more information.) But the original inspiration for my interest in mushrooms was a presentation by a nature photographer from Mendocino, California named Taylor Lockwood which I saw in Charlottesville in 1999 or so. (It was possibly at a Monticello Bird Club meeting, but I forget.) I was so awestruck by his dazzling, magical, exotic photos that I bought a set of jumbo-sized postcards he published, and I still have a few of them left. Thanks to Google, I found his photo gallery Web site: