A long time ago, there were tracks. Tracks with real, slow, wobbly trains. Trains transporting goods and people. Then came the time that people wanted everything faster, so the slow trains became less and less frequent. Eventually, they stopped rolling altogether. When that happened, the rails were pulled and recycled to make rails for other trains, in other parts of the world.
What stayed behind was the imprint of the tracks on the landscape. In most places in the world, those trails are also recycled and give birth to housing or other projects. Here in Liverpool, they gave way to a project called “The Trestle Trail”. It meanders along the Mersey River and through town.
Fortunate for me, one end of that trail starts a mere 500m from my house. One thing I noticed is that most of the people on this trails never look around. They enjoy the trees and the quietness. They enjoy running on the trail, but I never see them really look at the details that surround them. Granted, some of those details also try not to be seen, but hey, a little perseverance and everything is visible.
Since I arrived in Nova Scotia, I noticed that the mushrooms are already out and visible in July. Probably thanks to the humidity and heat of the summer combined. Nor Manitoba or The Netherlands had any mushrooms to be seen until somewhere in October.
Scarlet Waxy Cap
Here, the different shrooms are already showing in the beginning of July. Some of them are tiny, like this little Scarlet Waxy Cap here. They do stand out with their bright colour, if you stop and check out the forest floor. Forest? Hmm, hardly, this little stretch of nature is on the edge of town, in between the Mersey River and Highway 103.
But here, the idea of the term “goldfinger” must have been born. These Golden Spindles are coming up from the ground (like all mushrooms, I know) like little fingers from a grave below. Rest assured, there is no grave to be found there. These little fungi can reach some 15cm in height. After that, they collapse and return to the ground for another season. The ones pictured here are still young by the looks of them. Not too tall either if you check the size of that acorn.
Yellow-Tipped Coral Fungus
Some of the fungi go nearly unnoticed. This Yellow-Tipped Coral Fungus is one of those. Growing between leaves and pine needles, this one is hardly visible. This is a small one, they do get bigger but I didn’t see any more of them. Perhaps it was not the season.
Red Capped Scaber Stalk
And then there are the typical mushrooms. The ones pictured in fairy tales. This one was invariably the home of some troll or benevolent gnome. This Red Capped Scaber Stalk fits the bill for many pictures. I’m still not convinced this one is edible, even if pictures of it are on several chips packages I remember from long ago. In Ukraine this one is called Kozaree, which in a card game means the trump card. It must be an important mushroom .
American Yellow Fly Agaric
But the most famous mushroom is and remains the “Red with White Dots” mushroom. Although here, they come in the yellow variation. The American Yellow Fly Agaric is beautiful like its red European counterpart. And is just as little edible. Wash your hands after touching it was always the advice I got in school. And don’t put your fingers in your mouth either.
Red Capped Scaber Stalk
Then there are the less identifiable ones, although I suspect these are the same as the Red Capped Scaber Stalk above. It reminds me of an excellent afternoon with a dear friend, long ago. We went for an afternoon of “shrooming”, picking one mushroom my friend knew how to prepare. After a lot of fun in the woods, we came home with six big bags of mushrooms. Just to be sure, we decided to look them up in the mushroom book at the house. The ones we had were very similar, but a tiny detail was different.
Orange Gilled Waxcap
So we went to see the local pharmacist who had a mushroom book ten times as thick. He asked us if we had eaten any of them yet. One mushroom could cause stomach cramps for about three days, he said. To which we answered we had six full bags of them… Needless to say the mushrooms ended up in the bin. All we had left was a good laugh and memories of an excellent afternoon in the woods.
Yellow Swamp Brittle Gill
Trails in and around your house can present all kinds of small treasures, like this Yellow Swamp Brittle Gill. Apparently, someone or some animal nibbled on it and decided it was not good.
Any of the identifications of mushrooms here might be off, I don’t know enough about them to make any assumption. Also, if you find any, I make no claims to edibility for any of them, I consider them all non-edible until proven otherwise. I look at them, I shoot them and leave them be. My edible mushrooms come from the supermarket. Boring, perhaps, but at least they’ll be safe for consumption.
Until next time…