A comforting presence

As we like to say in the Flora category - if it grows it goes. Although fungi is in its own kingdom, being neither animal nor plant, it still grows and so here’s another one from me. No I do not photograph every mushroom I see and I can stop anytime.

This is a pair of what I think are Lactarius mushrooms on an enormous dead tree that was covered in moss and other forest debris. Tough tripod positioning again, but the light was luscious and I liked this pair especially. It’s a balsam fir & white cedar forest primarily and this little bit of it slopes down and is littered with huge boulders and water that seasonally drains into the Wisconsin river that is just a few hundred feet away. The deer skull shot from a couple weeks ago was taken very close by. You just never know what you’ll find off trail.

Come on you mushroom hunters…put up your shots!

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I angled the shot so that the mushrooms would be surrounded by moss and there wouldn’t be much background visible. It was a messy tangle of branches anyway. It was also pretty dim…too dim?

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Tripod and CPL
Focus stacking using the 0/+ method, probably 4-step increments.


Lr for initial wb and tonality processing using brushes, radial filters and global adjustments to contrast, exposure, clarity & sharpness. Zerene for the stacking - this is a DMap image and needed ZERO retouching. Unbelievable. Or maybe my eyes deceive me. Back into Lr to adjust the resulting TIFF from Zerene.

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I’m pretty sure you can’t stop, but that’s OK!! They’re close enough to plants – they grow and don’t feel (as far as we know).

Aside from your photography of them, the thing I like most about them is the lovely places they grow, and the light that makes those places special, and that’s certainly the case here. Beautiful shapes and colors. The debris is so typical, and I have to wonder what took a bite out of it. Must not have been very tasty, though.

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Well done, as usual.

I like the way the smaller cap is above and trying to protect the larger cap. It took that gallant stance and lost a piece of its body to the attacker.

Too dim? No, candidly, I’d prefer even darker surroundings but dimming the mushroom by only half of what you darken the moss.

Here’s my mushroom photo. Can you identify the species?

The stash of treasure at the base belongs to Bridget, the troll. She lives under a bridge and gives you a gift if you correctly answer her riddle.

Thanks @Diane_Miller & @paul_g_wiegman - is there a 12=step program for mushroom shooters?!

I noticed the bite, too. Funny. Lots of things eat mushrooms, but not the same things eat all of them. Slugs like pretty much all of them, including puffballs. Seems like rodents like russula species although they aren’t great for humans to eat. One is called The Sickener. Deer love honey mushrooms that come up in early fall. This is the species that holds the world’s record for oldest and largest living organism. There’s a single instance of the fungus that is about 3000 square acres and nearly 9000 years old. Of course that’s all underground except when it fruits. They’re edible and rather choice edibles as well although I’ve never harvested any.

What you’ve got there, Paul, is amanita muscaria. Eat enough and it will kill you dead. :skull_and_crossbones: