Maine Mushrooms

Jan 19th, 2009 by vanessa | 0

Maine MushroomIn 2008, Maine had an unusually high amount of forest mushrooms (described by local residents). While joining the University of Maine faculty during the fall semester I dedicated extensive time observing and documenting the forests surrounding campus.

Maine’s forests brought back memories: when I was a kid in Germany my parents took me on long hikes through the Black Forest. The composting floors–fertile with moist leaves, ferns, twigs, logs, and saturated moss patches–smelled of wild mushrooms. The sensory connections between past and present were fantastic.

Turns out, I am a mycophile!

The Maine Mycological Association, (MAA) hosts monthly forays for educational purposes and also recommends “The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms” as a good guidebook for mushrooms in Maine.

Mushrooms create large web structures in nature.  Joline Blais and Jon Ippolito in their book, At the Edge of Art, make an astute analogy between the World Wide Web and web-like structures of mushrooms.

Russia and Eastern Europe have a strong cultural relationship with mushrooms. During the dark ages mushrooms became embedded in supernatural mythology (see reference).  Many appear overnight–as if out of nowhere–and because of their mysterious origins, mushrooms became part of the lives of fairies, elves, and witches.

Maine Mushroom 1Maine Mushroom 2Maine Mushroom 3

Maine Mushroom 1Maine Mushroom 2Maine Mushroom 3

Maine Mushroom 1Maine Mushroom 2Maine Mushroom 3

Maine Mushroom 1Maine Mushroom 2Maine Mushroom 3