Ground Control to Major 'Shroom

The mushroom situation is wonderfully out of control this wet, cool summer. It's hard to describe the joy of entering the woods and finding the place popping with fungus. It's been many a year since I've seen this much action!
And it's not just the woods—it's the fields, the lawns, the roadside. Inky caps, fairy rings, dryad saddle, golden fairy spindle, green jelly babies, sticky violet cort, destroying angel, wrinkled milky, fuzzy foot, shaggy mane, Jack O' Lantern—even the names are exciting.I'm working diligently with my field guides to learn some of them; it's surprisingly easy—not! (At least I've learned to tell my boletes from my polypores and my amanitas from my russulas.)
One thing I will say is that mycologists can write; some of the wittiest field guides I've read are the mushroom guides. Must have something to do with the irony inherent in all those gorgeously bedecked toxins. (At the moment I'm particularly enjoying Bill Russell's informative and unpretentious Field Guide to Wild Mushrooms of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic.)

Here are some of my recent finds—all taken over the past week or so.

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