Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Amazing Mushrooms

   Why did everyone want to be best friends with the mushroom? Because he was a fun-guy! Hahaha! This joke has cracked me up since I was a kid! I know a lot of people grimace when they hear puns, but I love them! So that one is for my fellow pun appreciators.
  Every Fall, Seattle has a mushroom festival. I've eyed the poster advertisements for this event with curiosity for a couple of Falls now, but this Fall I was going to actually go to the festival! Unfortunately, it was on the same day that David and I had made plans to go to Vashon. But while wandering though a beautiful forest on Vashon, we saw so many mushrooms, it felt like our own little mushroom festival in the middle of the woods. I took many pictures of all the odd and interesting mushrooms I saw. Here they are:

  Here are some interesting facts about mushrooms and fungi that I collected from the internet.

  • Mushrooms are genetically more related to humans than plants! Since they grow from the earth and do not have internal organs, I think of mushrooms as plants even though I know they are technically a fungus. But mushrooms also do not have important indicators of plants. For example, mushrooms lack chlorophyll just as humans do. Also, the proteins within fungus is closer to human and other animal proteins then  it is to plant proteins. What if things had gone differently for fungus back in the day and they had evolved to have brains just like animals. That would be pretty neat. Imagine forests full of mushroom people. Although, this would be a blow for vegetarians. Mushrooms are such a great meat substite! (More info here at i09)
  • One of the largest living organisms in the world is a colony of honey mushrooms. This honey mushroom colony is in the Blue Mountains of Oregon and spans 2,200 acres. I love the name honey mushrooms! They sound like something that would be in a fairy tale. In the story, a kindly witch living in a house with a moss roof would have a honey mushroom garden. She would pick the mushrooms and put them in her tea, where the mushrooms would melt like marshmallows in the hot liquid. However, if anyone who is not a witch eats a honey mushroom, they will turn into a toad or a spider! Don't try this though, in a vain attempt to turn into a toad because according to wikipedia (Where I found this info) they are mildly poisonous! 
  • There are such things as glow-in-the-dark mushrooms!!! Remember in the nineties when glow-in-the-dark everything was all the rage? Glow in the dark stars for your ceiling, glow in the dark puffy-paint, glow in the dark Gak. I even had a troll with a glow in the dark face (as if the little creature wasn't creepy enough without the glow-in-the-dark face). Glow-in-the-dark was everywhere! But where were the glow-in-the-dark mushrooms? They were in Brazil! Or at least one type of bioluminescent mushroom was found in Brazil. There are around 70 species of bioluminescent mushrooms and most of them are found in temperate and tropical climates. The glowing mushroom of Brazil is known as flor-de-coco (awesome band name!). The flor-de-coco is especially amazing because it glows much brighter than the average glowing mushroom. I want a garden full of glowing mushrooms. Although, glowing mushrooms are also poisonous, so my glowing mushroom garden will be appreciated purely for it's aesthetic value. (Info found at Mother Earth Network and Wikipedia (again!))


Laurie said...

Wow! you have an amazing variety of mushrooms there! And I definitely did not know that they are closer to humans than plants! :)

Amber said...

Yeah, there were so many different mushroom types! It made the walk even more fun to see all the different mushrooms!