New England’s Mushrooms

Today’s guest post comes from a student who finished all four years at our middle school, and is now heading off to high school. They grow up so fast! You’ll notice that Anna’s observation skills are very strong, and she has some great insights about our country for both locals and visitors alike. Enjoy!

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Mystery DI know what you’re thinking, “Why would someone write a blog post about mushrooms?!” Well, I’ll tell you why.

This August, my family and I went on a bunch of day trips in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. We tried to go once or twice every week, and ended up seeing lots of beautiful sights! I was planning on writing a blog post about a trip that I made (whether in the past or this summer), but I couldn’t decide on one idea. The multiple day trips didn’t make it any easier! In the end, I chose to write about a commonality between all of the state parks we visited this August (yes, we went to a lot of state parks), and I think you can guess what that topic is.

BeaverWhether we were marveling at the beautiful views of the Flume Gorge and Lost River Gorge or just hiking through Great Brook Farm State Park, there were always mushrooms around every corner.

Believe it or not, mushrooms are actually quite interesting. For instance, the largest organism in the world is the honey mushroom. The biggest honey mushroom ever discovered can be found in the Blue Mountains in Oregon. Now you might be thinking, “Does that mean that if I travel to Oregon, I’ll see a GIANT mushroom?!” Unfortunately, the answer is no. The honey mushroom grows from a tiny spore, and gradually grows larger and larger and larger. It spreads to great distances underground, but on the surface, all you see are a bunch of small honey mushrooms.

I did a little research about the mushrooms we saw on our trips, and found out that the mushrooms we found include:

  • The “Small Chanterelles”
  • Horse mushroom
  • Chicken Mushroom
  • Parasol mushroom
  • (White) Matsutake
  • Oyster Mushrooms
  • Indian Pipe

See if you can figure out which mushroom is which! (Yes, you may use the Internet.)

Note: One of the pictures is a plant, and not a mushroom (but still interesting). Hint: The plant shares its name with another mushroom that looks like bagpipes. However, if you look up the name online, you’ll only find the plant.

All of the photos are courtesy of my dad, and are not in any specific order.

Those were the mushrooms that I could put names on, but these photos have mushrooms that I couldn’t identify:

I hope you enjoyed my blog post!Finally, I just want to break the stereotype that most mushrooms are poisonous. In fact, it’s quite the opposite; 90% of mushrooms are not poisonous!

~ Anna 😉                                            * * * * * * *

Note: Unless you are with an expert, you should NEVER eat mushrooms found in the wild. Anna is correct that many mushrooms are edible. However, if you guess wrong, it could cost you your life. So that’s not a risk worth taking.

Categories: Guest Posts

3 replies »

  1. I really like what Anna blogged about mushrooms I never knew there were so many different kinds of mushrooms, like the the honey mushrooms looks small if the full thing was underground. but I have a question:What is the difference between a mushroom and fungus?-AK

    • Well, mushrooms are the mechanisms used by fungi to reproduce… So, in a sense, all mushrooms are fungi, but not all fungi are mushrooms.
      Hope this answered your question! (Sorry I responded so late!!!)


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