On the British-Columbia coast, the fall of 2013 was an exceptional fruiting season for mushrooms, in both variety and quantity. That November, while going from A to B in my neck of the woods, I chose to take a shortcut through the forest instead of following my usual path. That shortcut was tricky to navigate, there were lots of obstacles in my non-existing path and I was paying attention to where I was putting my feet.
At one point, I looked up to figure out where I was headed, and this is what I saw:
It was a jaw-dropping sight. These short-stem russulas (Russula brevipes), growing in a circle that had a diameter of at least 35 feet!
Some of these russulas were massive. Here is a close up with someone’s hand, to show the scale. Massive.
So, if I ever needed an excuse not to follow the usual path, this is the perfect one. Get off the path, and go wander in the woods! (…and into my old photo files, too…)