A few days ago, I posted here a story about Tiny Fungi. It was about some very small fungi I found in the wooded area behind our house. Today, I want to update that story with this one about some very big fungi we had nearby.
As we go for our walks, we often pass a tree that normally doesn’t have anything notable to say about it. It is a dying tree with bare spots near the ground on the trunk. Nothing is in the bare spots so far this year. Last fall it was a different story. Some very big fungi were growing in the bare spots. They were spectacular! It looked like bagels were attached to the tree trunk. Here is a close-up look so you can see the gill structure below the cap.
It is hard to get a sense of size and perspective up that close. This shot is from about three feet away. Now you can see the way they are grouped in clusters. They are a rich brown in their prime. Each cap is several inches across. Still, it is hard to get a sense of size.
This ball cap ought to help see how large they are. My brother-in-law said they were Pleurotus ostreatus, or oyster mushroom, and very tasty. He is quite knowledgeable about mushrooms. Normally, we don’t harvest mushrooms in the wild to eat. If they appear again this year, we will probably try them.
What about you? Do you hunt mushrooms and enjoy them with some meals? What kinds?