Autumn Mushrooms, Oddities & Flowers


I’m recovering… enough to enjoy wandering around the yard and the surrounding woods a bit.

fall bloomersI apologize to all whose comments on my last post I didn’t answer.  Instead of trying to play catchup, just know that I appreciate you and will do better from now on.  🙂

We are debating on whether to get the Casita’s furnace fixed this month, or to try to find some inexpensive camping before really cool weather sets in.  With the federal campgrounds closed, I found several Georgia county campgrounds with water and electric that charge under $20 per night.  The state parks are simply too expensive for us as we like to stay for several days at a time.fall bloomers2

Some of the county parks look nice, although it’s hard to find reviews on them.  Others just don’t look that appealing.   And sitting outside on chilly nights breathing campfire smoke might not be the best thing for me right now.

Maybe I’ll just get the furnace fixed and we’ll head to Florida later — IF the national forest campgrounds open up.

Interesting mushroom. Note the reticulated stalk

[This is where I edited out a biting comment on the government shutdown political shenanigans.]  😀

Our yard has mushrooms everywhere!  Some edible, some sickeners.  But after our drought last year, I am happy to see them all.  The variety is astounding.  I am only posting a small sample of the photos I took.

I was unable to get a spore print on this mushroom because it has a white parasitic fungus on the pore surface.  It doesn't seem to bother the little guy who is eating it.

I was unable to get a spore print on this mushroom because it has a white parasitic fungus on the pore surface. It doesn’t seem to bother the little guy who is eating it.

Edible penny-bun type bolete

Edible penny-bun type bolete

And another!

And another!

I removed the pore layer because it was a little past its prime.  The pores were actually olive green but they show up brown in this photo.

I removed the pore layer because it was a little past its prime. The pores were actually olive green but they show up brown in this photo.

I’m not sure what this is. At first I thought it might be wild quinine, but neither the flowers nor leaves are a match. On edit: it might be eupatorium serotinum aka boneset or late thoroughwort.



Edible suilli

Edible suilli

Poisonous pokeweed berries

Poisonous pokeweed berries

Such a pretty face

Such a pretty face

Another suillus

Another suillus

Soggy ground

Soggy ground



Red russulas (sickeners) growing by Casita tire.  More are growing under the Casita.

Red russulas (sickeners) growing by Casita tire. More are growing under the Casita.



  1. Tim

     /  October 13, 2013

    Hi Sharon. Glad you are feeling better.
    An option to postpone getting the furnace fixed right away: A Mister Heater portable propane heater for about $79.00 +- . I have one with the filter ($10.00) and extension hose ($15-$20) and it works great for small areas. Using the 1 pound propane bottle will still give 4-5 hrs heat on low.
    Seems that the “Shutdown” government is spending a lot on labor to close parks ( and other things) just to prove a point. Little boys on Capital Hill playing “My toy is bigger than your toy.” What a national discrace.

    • Tim, I do have a Mr. Heater and a Coleman Black Cat heater so it’s not really essential to get the furnace fixed. I just like being able to set the thermostat on the furnace and use the gas line in the trailer instead of small bottles or running a hose through the bathroom window.

      Picky, picky, aren’t I? But I probably will wait on the furnace repair. 🙂

      It’s more like an international disgrace than a national grace. So sad.

      Good to hear from you. 🙂

  2. So happy to have you back online…hope you continue to feel better. Bummer about the furnace – why couldn’t it give out in the summer? We are finding it harder to find camping spots ourselves. So many campgrounds close after today. Guess it’s a good thing that we’ll be home in a week.

    • Well, the furnace did give out earlier… I just kept putting off doing anything about it. 🙂

      Camping seems like such an exercise in freedom. It’s odd to realize just how dependent we are on so many others for our escapes from the rat race. It takes away a little of the “wild and free” feeling, doesn’t it?

      I have enjoyed the places you introduced us to on your blog.

  3. EmilyO

     /  October 13, 2013

    Good morning Sharon, glad to hear you are on the mending road. I have spent this last week here at the Ellis house getting it painted, cleaned and all that stuff and didn’t keep up with blogs, fb and so on. I leave this morning, with Eggie in tow, for home. Wish I could take my time but new house signing is Wed morning. I will be thinking of you and sending positive recovery prayers your way so you can get that trailer out and not let the red russulas grow underneath.

    • I hope you are finally through with everything you need to even think about on the old house! You have spent too much effort on it!

      Wish you could take lots more time traveling with Eggie, too. But the new house signing is exciting, too.

      I laughed out loud at the unexpected wish about not letting red russulas grow under the trailer! Thanks for the good wishes and the giggle! 😀

  4. Awesome pictures! I love mushrooms but am afraid of getting into the poisonous ones. The flower pictures are gorgeous, too. The golden rod is beautiful – we have a lot of it in Iowa – but it sure kicks up the allergies. There are so many beautiful things to experience outdoors. Thanks for sharing. Take care! Good luck with the furnace situation. 🙂

    • So glad you enjoyed the photos. I wouldn’t call them awesome, but I do love sharing the fun and beautiful things I see on my blog.

      Now what is awesome is that you catch the limit of trout every time you take off on a quick fishing trip. Usually within a couple of hours!!!

  5. Mary Alice

     /  October 13, 2013

    Glad you are feeling better. So love your blog! It makes me want to get out in the closed forest. (Went into a natl. forest in Texas and there was a lock on the pit toilet.) Enough of that. Your pictures are fabulous. Is it true that only the berries of the pokeweed are poisonous?

    • Mary Alice, I so appreciate your comment on my blog. Best yet is that it makes you want to get out and explore on your own!

      Well, about the pit toilet being locked… years ago when I studied primitive skills, I also learned to hygienically go to the bathroom in the woods. But I can’t believe the spite towards the “common” people in shutting them down.

      No, the whole pokeweed plant is poisonous. The roots are deadly poisonous. Some people make a medicinal tea for arthritis or other ills with one or more pokeweed berries, and there are always some people who “do it all the time.” But the fact is that they are poisonous, and we experiment at our own risk.

      The foliage is also poisonous, but the shoots and new leaves in the spring are safely edible after removing the water soluble toxins. Some people say you don’t have to pre-boil them to remove the toxins and they roll the shoots in cornmeal and fry and eat them without harm.

      But I’ve seen the cloudy red stuff that cooks out of them when I preboil them, so I am going to stick with what I know is safe.

      Whew! Bet you didn’t expect that long an answer! 🙂

  6. Hi Sharon – there are lots of red mushrooms here to (manzanita or). The vote was split on whether they were edible or not, so I left them alone. There was no doubt on the boletes – may saute a couple for breakfast.

    I’m looking to replace my furnace. Like you, I don’t like using so many one pound canisters and don’t want the expense of converting my Mr Buddy to a tank since it will still have no thermostat. The no thermostat is the real deal breaker!

    • Boletes (with pores instead of gills) are the very safest group of wild mushrooms to experiment with. As long as you avoid red or orange caps and pores and the ones that stain blue when bruised, your likelihood of getting sick is very small. (Although there are some good ones that stain blue. But you avoid the danger of poisoning yourself if you leave them alone, too.) The biggest danger is getting one that just tastes lousy. But the King Boletes are so universally recognizable that there is no question about their safety!

      There are apparently several closely related red russulas and they very difficult to distinguish. Some are known sickeners. Just to be safe, I avoid them all. Some say if you parboil them it makes them safe.

      Someday I’ll post about my first experience with mushroom poisoning and it will explain why I am a lot more picky now than I used to be! 🙂

      That thermostat is the most important thing on a heater. When I’m camping, I like to set the thermostat at 60 and sleep under blankets and afghans with just my cold nose sticking out!

  7. Glad to see you’re on the mend and out and about taking photos, which are really awesome….what a large assortment of mushrooms….wish we had that….take care and have a terrific weekend…Horst sends

    • Horst, there was an amazing variety. If I posted them all it would bore the readers who aren’t interested in them to tears. I think they are fruiting so plentifully partly to make up for our drought years.

      So maybe that means when you finally get plentiful rains there you’ll have the same bonanza! I vaguely think I remember that you may have posted a whole bunch of mushroom photos on one of the Casita forums a long time ago. I was amazed at that variety, too.

  8. I am constantly amazed at your mushroom knowledge….and your working on the fiberglass unit pushing your car! Hope you do have some nice weather to get out camping before Florida. 🙂

    • Sue, very honestly I am just at the early intermediate stage in mushroom identification. I am nowhere near an expert. In fact, I often run across mushrooms that I have to have help identifying on my mushroom board. But I do know a few well enough to be confident with them.

      I am much more leery of the gilled mushrooms. I will spend days studying and researching a new one (several times) before I am confident about a new species. But it’s such a fascinating hobby.

      That fiberglass unit needs several more little mods and fixes that will just have to wait until I feel more like tackling them!

  9. cozybegone

     /  October 13, 2013

    I needed some beautiful danty nature viewing today…. We’re liking our little plug in electric heater to take off the chill…if I set it just right I can flip it on from under the covers :). We’ve enjoyed a few county parks in Iowa…sometimes just Jer and I all alone 🙂

    • I loved my little plug-in electric heater that I’ve had for years. But one day I walked into the Casita and smelled that “electrical” smell. I took a close look at my little heater and saw a small area of burnt plastic on one side next to the silver heating screen.

      So I tossed that one, but it WILL be replaced.

      Your comment about the county parks is encouraging. It makes me feel better about exploring ours. 🙂

  10. So glad to see you are out and least around the yard taking beautiful pictures!!
    Hope this means you are feeling much better!! I sure hope you all can find a place to camp a spell. Getting out in the Casita might be just the thing you need. 🙂
    Take care of yourself!!

    • Yes, Gerri, I am finally feeling better. Not 100% yet, but feels so good to be able to enjoy the outdoors. What a gift! 🙂

      Did you see my comment on your blog that I am using your Calloway Gardens Chapel photo as my desktop wallpaper? I hope it’s okay!

  11. Ann

     /  October 13, 2013

    I’m not a mushroom fan but I love the flower photos. Glad you’re feeling better.

  12. I have been so unobservant as to information regarding nature in my own back yard. I can not tell you what the names of the plants are in spite of the fact I have been renting here for two years. (Tuscon) I think it shows some love to learn the name of the plants and recognize them. I learn all about technology or painting, why not nature. I resolve to do better.

    • Elizabeth, I used to not care about their names. They were just weeds. But it heightens the appreciation of everything you see when you can call it by name. 🙂

      I imagine there are websites for your area of the country that have keys like this one for Missouri flowers (also applicable over a wide area of the country). Scroll down to where it categorizes flowers by color to see what I’m talking about:

      • Thanks and I completely agree. Part of the problem besides just looking at things differently is that I am from Florida and Washington State, both of very green. I still look at the Tucson area with some apprehension. I sure know what a rattlesnake looks like for instance. 🙂 Thanks for the link, I will check it out. I think I would enjoy Tucson more if I became more appreciative of its brand of beauty….. or i could move. Laughing.

        • As a Florida native, I certainly understand! I used to think the southwest — and the desert — was the most barren, godforsaken place I’d ever seen. Then I started following blogs of RVers out there who document the plant life and the subtle ecosystems, and it made a huge difference.

          I still think I’d prefer living where it’s lush and green, but a lot of it must be a matter of perspective.

          Rattlesnakes. We have them here, but they are hidden by the patterns in the forest. I like it that way. I don’t want to see them!!! I have seen some photos of rattlesnakes in the desert that gave me the willies long after I thought I had forgotten the picture!!! I think you have more, and they are meaner!

  13. I’m happy to hear your feeling somewhat better. Your pictures are great. Hope you get to go camping soon.

  14. Glad that you are feeling well enough to get out and about! Hope you continue to improve and enjoy this not cold and not hot season before it goes away!

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