Mushrooms Taking over Weston Conservation Woods

Unless you’re living under a rock or on the parched west coast, you know that we have had lots of rain here in the Boston area this summer. Here at Owl Central, we’ve had our irrigation system on exactly four times since the spring– we just winterized it Monday because, really, what’s the point? Massachusetts had the wettest July on record, and Boston the third wettest summer on record, along with it being the hottest. Who likes this news? Mushrooms. Fungi. Little tiny umbrellas in the woods. Actually, not all of them are tiny, and many cling to dead wood and trunks while others sprout from the ground, sometimes in the middle of the trail.

Viscid Violet Cort – my favorite!

On this morning’s walk in an unnamed Weston conservation land (it’s my favorite, so you can’t know my trail, mushroom hunters), the Owl may have seen about half of Massachusetts’ 116 types of mushrooms. Oh, okay, a bit of an exaggeration but it’s crazy times out there. Note that half the world’s population of mosquitos also followed me on my route–definitely you will want to douse yourself with Off! Swim in it would be better.

Here is my best-of, and my free advice to go get exploring. I am going to try to convince WFTA to make a fungi (yes, FUN GUY) scavenger hunt to see how many mushrooms people can see.

And remember, if you do go out on the conservation lands, please take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints (and I’d prefer you’d skip the tire tracks). Leave the mushrooms, take the photos, enjoy the day. Know that two of the world’s most toxic mushrooms live here in Massachusetts so unless you really know what you’re doing, you are risking death. Quite literally.

Get outside!

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