Mushrooms are funny things. The pretty part you see above the ground and take pictures of is just the fruiting body. The real heart of the organism is underground in the mycelium. It just bides its time until conditions are right and then it pops those interesting and colorful shapes through the ground, produces spores to reproduce, and then melts into a puddle of slime.
I don't recall ever seeing these mushrooms before. Certainly I've never taken their picture or tried to identify them. This year, they are everywhere in the forest. You may recall I tentatively identified them as Frost's Bolete.
Yesterday, I found dozens more of them in all stages of fruiting from little buds poking through the leaves to dark brown-red slimy messes of decay. But I did remember to look at the underside. Definitely non-gilled, and porous. Convex (bulging). Turning yellow at the edges.
Then I did another test the field guide suggested. Break the surface and the flesh should turn blue almost immediately. Yup.
Says it is common in oak woods. That was certainly true this year. Lots of oaks where we did the archaeology test holes, and at Cadillac Pathway where I saw them yesterday.
I think I'll remember this one. Wonder if I'll see another "bloom" of them in my lifetime.
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