Mystery Mushroom

A mystery mushroom clump has sprouted in Rosslyn's back meadow.
A mystery mushroom sprouted in Rosslyn’s meadow.

It seems that rainy days always result in crops all of mystery mushrooms sprouting in our lawns. I remain a total mycology neophyte, though I own several detailed mushroom identification books and enjoy reading the descriptions. I remain totally ill-equipped to distinguish between delectable and deathly!

I posted an image of this mushroom clump on several social media sites and received a couple of guesses including Chicken of the Woods. But I don’t think it’s a very close match.

My wife has a cousin who visits us each summer, and if he were here I feel pretty confident that he’d be able to identify this mystery mushroom. But he’s not. And I can’t. Can you?

Until it vanishes (another equally quick phenomenon, not unlike the way they appear overnight) I will simply ensure that Griffin does not snarf it up. He is forever trying to eat any mushrooms he can get his mouth on. We worry that one day he’ll manage to gobble up a magical mystery mushroom. Or worse!

An illustrated guide to mushrooms. (Credit:
An illustrated guide to mushrooms. (Credit:

Although it would have made more sense to start last spring, I’ll make a mental note to begin recording the various different sorts of mushrooms I encounter on Rosslyn’s grounds. There a mammoth mystery mushroom sprouting from the side of the ancient maple tree in front of our house. Tourists stop and take pictures, often with a young child standing underneath. Unfortunately, the mushroom’s prodigious growth also spells the expiring tree’s demise, but that woeful tale for another day. For now, a promise to snap photos of any mystery mushrooms appearing in the near future.

Until then, I’m hoping that a clever reader can help me identify the clump of mushrooms above. Are they edible? Are they poisonous? Thanks in advance for demystifying the fungusamungous…

About virtualDavis

A writer, storyteller and unabashed flâneur, George Davis (aka virtualDavis or G.G. Davis, Jr.) is the author of Rosslyn Redux: Reawakening a home, a dream and ourselves, a transmedia chronicle about rehabilitating an historic property in the Adirondacks with his bride. He blogs about storytelling, poetry, doodling, marginalia, flânerie, publishing, and other creativity-inspired esoterica at; posts sometimes exhilarating, often unnerving, occasionally euphoric, and always pollyanna "midlife mashups" at; chronicles his sailing adventures (and misadventures) at Sailing Errant; and delves into matters of parenting, babylandia, and childfreedom at Why No Kids? George formerly taught and coached at Santa Fe Preparatory School and The American School of Paris, and he co-founded and launched Maison Margaux: "Paris à la parisienne" in Faubourg Saint-Germain. He currently owns and operates Adobe Oasis in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his bride. George meanders on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube and Flickr.
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