An Explosion of Fungi

Following the recent heavy rains and cool weather along the Front Range, our Littleton farm is greener than it has been all year.  In concert, a wide variety of fungi adorn the property, concentrated at wood piles, mulched beds and wood borders.

Hidden within soil and decaying wood for most of the year, fungi produce their reproductive structures (which we know as mushrooms, puffballs, bracket fungi, etc.) when conditions favor germination of their spores; indeed, some species "bloom" in the spring while others appear in late summer or autumn.

One need not be an expert on fungi to enjoy their wide variety of colors and shapes (I certainly don't pretend to qualify); on the other hand, only experts should determine which species are edible since a large percentage of mushrooms are poisonous.  Most of us prefer to enjoy them with our eyes, knowing that these seasonal growths are components of far larger organisms that play a vital role in recycling the chemicals of life.