WITH ULTRA-MOIST CONDITIONS this summer-into-fall, I have to say the thing doing the best in the garden are the mushrooms. One odd-looking fungus after another is sprouting from mulch, at the base of trees, even in the lawn. The winner of all so far: a 2-foot-wide colony of something so fluorescent orange you could see it across the yard in mid-August (above).Perhaps it’s Omphalotus olearius–the jack-o-lantern mushroom. Silly me: I forgot to photograph the underside–to see if there were true gills beneath the cap and how the stem and cap attached to each other–but it had disappeared before I realized my oversight a couple of weeks later. (UPDATE 9/10/11: From commenter Kristy, the suggestion is that these could be honey fungus, or Armillaria; read about those here. The colony was about 20 feet from the nearest tree, a spruce, but I’m still going with Omphalotus.)
I’ll hope for its return next year, and if it ever stops raining, I’ll be sure to be more detail-oriented when admiring the growing collection of fungi who have joined me in my garden.
You may recall my fascination with (yup!) fungus: read all about it.