Thursday, October 22, 2020

Mostly mushrooms

Ellen and Melanie on today's trail

 Today four Trailblazers met at one of our familiar hangouts, the Chuckanut trailhead, to hike to Madrone Crest and make a loop to include a trip to visit "the Dude," a tree formation that reminds us of the Big Lebowski. You'll see what I mean later on.

Up the tree they go

First, we saw these mushrooms climbing up a tree in formation, looking quite regal as they ascended. We had no idea early on that most of what we would see on today's hike would be dozens of different 'shrooms. 

More pretty buttons on this tree

We spent lots of time photographing mushrooms, and Melanie had an app on her phone that identified some of them. I don't remember the names of most of them, but we sure appreciated knowing that many of them are not poisonous.

Amanita muscaria

These, however, I remember from my trips into the forests in Colorado, and I know that they are considered to be "magic mushrooms" and, if they don't kill you, they can make you high. We were just happy to take pictures and move on.

Madrone Crest, our lunch spot

We made it to our destination, in time for us to have a nice lunch. Melanie is between the two trees, and Joy and Ellen chat together as they eat. We didn't stay too long, because we began to get very cold (it was only in the low 40s (5°C) and once we had a chance to replenish our energy supplies, we had to get moving again to stay warm.

Cute little guys

On our way back, one of our signposts even had mushrooms sprouting from the wood, which helped give us our theme for the day. They were everywhere!

It takes a village

Some of them even gave us a chance to smile as we considered what seemed like a community of mushrooms. We laughed as we considered these little guys that wrapped entirely around this tree stump.

Two different kinds

Some look like scallops, and others are very delicate and look like they would blow away in a strong breeze. Maybe they could, who knows? There were so many more, dozens of different ones, and I've only scratched the surface with these pictures.

"The Dude" complete with doobie

We took a side trip to check him out, and to see if he's still got his characteristic smoke. Yep, we did have to find it on the ground and stuck it back in his mouth, but the eyes and mouth are unmistakable and still intact.

Heading back

And then it was time to find our way back home, along the Hemlock trail, covering almost eight miles and an unknown elevation. My tracker showed what must be an undercount. I figure at least a thousand feet up and down, but whatever amount it was, it felt like the hike was just right. Now it's time to sit back and enjoy the rest of my day. The sun is still out!


  1. This is so cool! I saw a few mushrooms in Illinois, but don't see them in Hawaii. Hmmm... maybe because we don't get much rain on this side of the island. I wish we could all know what's safe to eat.

  2. My gosh DJan, your photos are stunning. (I like to click on each one and see them full-size.) I never thought I'd see so much beauty in mushrooms! I also didn't realize your hikes were so big... 8 miles?? Very impressive and I'm speechless :)

  3. Love the shrooms and your observant eye. And the big Dude is a beauty too.
    Many thanks.

  4. Fallis a great time for fungus. Fungus time is over here.

  5. My favorite composition is the two cute little guys...very artfully captured. And it takes a village is a great caption. (40° sounds a bit chilly but, I'll take it!)

  6. I enjoyed seeing all of the various shrooms in all of the various places.

  7. Now that is a pack of mushrooms. Wish I knew the difference between edible and poisonous. Think they would be fun to hunt. I heard termites actually cultivate mushrooms as a digestive aid.

  8. You saw a lot of mushrooms. Many kinds. I don't take as many mushroom photo safaris, but I always stop to inspect them. They are so weird! The dude abides.

  9. Wow! Love seeing all the various mushrooms you have there!
    Loved "The Dude". I just heard he has cancer but thinks his prognosis is good. Hope so. :)

  10. Eeew, not a mushroom fan here. I never quite "got" the Big Lebowski either. But glad you're enjoying the day!

  11. So that is what a magic mushroom looks like. Thanks for the photo.

  12. Oh...the mushrooms are so fascinating! Such a wonderful hike. I love how you always have lunch a sit and relax in that beauty!

  13. Such pretty photos of all the mushrooms! That is quite a variety! :)

  14. Great mushroom tour and visit with the Dude. Mahalo!

  15. I love all of the mushrooms, I find them fascinating and always am happy to see them in the wild.

  16. What a coincidence between your post and mine!

  17. Huge variety there! Is that count as the rain forest up there? In any case I only do morales in the spring here in Minnesota. As for the others I'm checking because I don't want to get poisoned :-)

  18. Mushrooms are beautiful in their variety of colors and shapes. I wish they weren't in my yard however.


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