Fascinating Fungi

While visiting family in southern Oregon recently, I’d opted to go for a run around Empire Lakes (a favorite trail in town). As I rounded a corner, I was startled by a doe in the middle of the trail. I came to a stop in hopes I might be able to take her photo but she moved back into the undergrowth before I had a chance to pull my phone out of the arm sleeve. I thereafter decided it might be best to keep my phone in hand … perhaps I would encounter a sibling further along the trail.

As I continued on my run, it soon became apparent to me that the naturalist within me was in conflict with the runner within me. I kept stopping to take pictures of the fungi I observed on the side of the trail. I don’t recall seeing such diversity of fungi in the past and was spellbound.
mushroomsMy daughter is fascinated with fungi and I was disappointed that she wasn’t with me. Though not quite the same, I consoled myself with knowing we could do a nature study lesson with the photographs alone. Had I had a way of carrying a few specimens home – I would have. But a las, the runner in me reminded me that I had a job to do, a goal in mind.

I was surprised to see many of the specimens had been kicked over. Many others were in various states of decay. I would have loved to come back with the kids and our microscope to make more careful observations.


Coincidentally, I’d also read in the local paper that there was a fungus festival in Eugene. I have never yet attended one – the opportunity always seems to escape me. Someday. I even have it on our bucket list and I keep a list of possibilities as I learn of them. Here are a few in the western states:

Fungus Foray & Wild Mushroom Expo – San Juan Ridge, Nevada City, CA
Mushroom Festival – Mt Pisgah, Eugene, OR
Mushroom Fair – Humboldt, CA
Fungus Foray – Santa Cruz, CA

I’m sure there are more. If you know of one in your local area, leave a link in the comments below. Also consider linking to posts of your own fungi experiences. 🙂

Submitted to the November Handbook of Nature Study Outdoor Hour Challenge.


About Eva Varga

Eva is passionate about education. She has extensive experience in both formal and informal settings. She presently homeschools her two young children, teaches professional development courses through the Heritage Institute, and writes a middle level secular science curriculum called Science Logic. In addition to her work in education, she is an athlete, competing in Masters swimming events and marathons. In her spare time she enjoys reading, traveling, learning new languages, and above all spending time with her family. ♥

6 comments on “Fascinating Fungi

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