Summer intern Annie Stark has observed an abundance of mushrooms sprouting around the grounds. Here are a couple of the more interesting specimens.

Being an intern at the nature center has allowed me to discover many new things. Due to our rainy season this summer, many species of mushrooms have been growing along the trails. There is a no-pick policy that I respect, but every day I take pictures of the quickly developing  fungi. I have found mushrooms in many different areas throughout the Nature Center and its trails.

Bright orange stinkhorn mushroom
Bright orange stinkhorn mushroom

So far, my favorite mushroom that we’ve found is the stink horn. It was discovered sprouting out of the ground near the stepping stumps of the children’s Sense of Wonder outdoor classroom area. Land Steward Jean Wiedenheft and I were leading a small group of fifth graders when we found the stink horn and the children were fascinated by its unique smell and appearance. I, too, was amazed by its bright orange color while flies swarmed it.

Ruffled tree ear mushroom
Ruffled tree ear mushroom

The best thing about mushroom hunting is that anyone can take part in a great hobby. Even if you don’t know what kind of mushroom it is, you can appreciate the great diversity of the fungi kingdom. Our staff at the Nature Center can try to help identify mushrooms on the site, or check out some of the mushroom books in the Creekside Shop.

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