Yesterday I was working at a client’s house and was amazed to see all the shrooms that have grown following the recent downpours! My helper, Kendall, and I found a Pizzasticks box in the back of my truck (I have teenage boys, what can I say) and in went all the mushrooms we found. We called it the “Fungi Box”, and it went with us as we weeded, pruned and cleaned up my client, Dave’s, massive garden.
Some of these fungi we’d both seen before, and some were strange and unfamiliar. And still others were downright alien in form, like the eyeball-shaped one that had a gelatinous center (“Oh, that’s so nasty!” Kendall kept saying). It began to be a game; what would we find in this part of the garden? Who would find the grossest one? We actually found a pretty one that looked almost like a calla lily–it was so delicate, though, that it didn’t travel well in the Fungi Box and could not be included in the photograph. Survival of the fittest and all, even in the shroom world. Go figure.
So Friday was a really cool day. After months of earth-baking temperatures where even the most xeric plants suffered, and a drought so severe that stringent water restrictions unlike any we’ve seen in recent history were set it place, we suddenly experienced the delights of soil-soaking rains and crisp air. And the gardens explode again in saturated color, unfurling leaves and yes, weirdly-formed fungi that reminds me what I love about both gardening and 7th grade science fairs.