Miniscule Mushrooms in Washington

August 25, 2021

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Photographer: Kathy Arbuckle

Summary Author: Kathy Arbuckle

Every year, I am treated to the sight of numerous tiny, snow-white discs sprinkled on the ground like hail leftover from a spring storm, as seen in the first image.  Although these structures appear like small hailstones, upon closer inspection the white dots are revealed to be scattered tiny mushrooms growing in the lawn under the trees, as seen in the second side view picture. Mushrooms in the U.S. Pacific Northwest come in all shapes and sizes, but this specific variety of mushroom is significantly smaller in size than a quarter and its cap appears flat.

Identifying mushrooms is tricky business with there being thousands of varieties, many of which are poisonous to humans or animals.  Consequently, extreme care must be taken when hunting for edible mushrooms.  A class, experienced guide, and a field guide manual can be lifesaving when it comes to picking fungi.  I have yet to find out the species of mushroom shown in the pictures above, but for now I will just enjoy its fairyland appearance.

Photo taken January 9, 2021.

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