Protective Coloration


The object in the center of the magnolia leaf is a mushroom resting on a lichen-covered twig. Buck and I deviated from our house-to-gate morning walking track and cut through the woods on this morning of dappled sun and cool breezes. Buck pointed to a huge old magnolia tree. Really, it was three trees grown together. A fallen log was wedged through the center of trio. It stuck out at least six feet on either end, giving the impression of a bench. We walked over to get a closer look at this curiosity and found ourselves in a magnolia grove surrounded by saplings of varying ages. We stood ankle-deep in leaf drifts.

A mottled circle  nearly covered in leaves caught my eye and I immediately became still. “Don’t move, Buck. Look where I’m looking. Is that a snake?” I watched the circle, half expecting it to move under the leaves.  We concluded it might be a mushroom, but just to be on the safe side, Buck took a long stick and nudged the object. It fell over. Mushroom. Yep. We knew it all the time. Darned unusual, though, and quite beautiful.

I didn’t have my camera, so used a magnolia leaf as a little boat to carry the mushroom back to the house. Buck spotted this patch of moss and suggested its outrageous shade of green would make a good backdrop for the photo. I think he was right. Now, the mushroom resting on the lichen-covered twig looks more like a piece of designer jewelry than a hidden snake.

Anybody know the proper name for this mushroom? (It does not have gills underneath, if that helps.)

3 thoughts on “Protective Coloration

  1. Sure sounds like a wonderful walk! The cooler mornings are certainly welcome.

    Your mushroom reminds me of “The Old Man of the Woods” ( Strobilomyces floccopus), but I’m really not certain. It sure is neat looking. Buck’s instincts are spot on (as usual) in using that magnificent green background.

    Let us know if you find out what species of fungus you found.


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