From Finn’s Forest #3 #writingcommunity #authorblog #readersoftwitter #settings #mushrooms #forest

Hi 🙂 Welcome to the third From Finn’s Forest.

Settings are important to a story and poetry. For me, I use my forest a lot for the backdrop.  My curiosity takes me to many different places where it can focus on the forest seasons, fauna, or flora.  After an over-abundant year of rain and snow this year, we have had a huge crop of mushrooms. They don’t last very long because something eats them immediately. Unless the fairies are dining on all of them, I decided it was time to do a bit of research.

After some mushroom investigation, I believe we have a couple of large patches of death cap mushrooms. I didn’t do a suggested test of putting the mushroom gill down on black paper to see what color their spores were to confirm this, but they certainly fit the description, especially their gills, and stock. Nor have I gotten close enough to see if they have a slight ammonia smell either.  There is another deadly mushroom very common in California the destroying angel. I don’t remember seeing those, but maybe I missed them.


Besides the two poisonous varieties, there are many types of edible California mushrooms that might be growing in our forest that include: porcini, candy caps (seen a few of these), chanterelles (they are here), morels (we have an abundance of these) chicken of the woods, coral, truffles (I want to find these!), turkey tails (yes, have them), apricot belly,  and boletes.

Turkey tail mushroom

In taking my daily walks on the Magical trail, I’ve noticed that mushrooms don’t stay around long. If what I believe truly are death cap mushrooms, then what can eat the poisonous mushroom we can’t? One answer is squirrels. We have an abundance of gray and Douglas squirrels who are very well-fed. Rabbits can eat them, while humans will feel this mushroom’s ill effects that can easily lead to death.

Although the forest gives us beauty and even food we can eat, some things can kill us too. I don’t like to eat mushrooms so there will never be an issue of me getting a bad mushroom. But, what if a character desires to use a death cap to deal with another character in a story? Or someone in your story wanted to use medicinal properties from a mushroom? Lost in a forest and running out of things to eat? Knowledge could keep your characters alive—or not.

There are so many possibilities around us. If only we head outside and wonder about things around us—down to the tiniest of weeds coming up through the sidewalk crack. I will keep exploring all those possibilities here in Finn’s Forest and my stories.

There will be no post next week due to the holiday. Happy Fourth of July for those in the USA.

Embrace that inner child by honoring your curiosity! D. L. Finn

56 thoughts on “From Finn’s Forest #3 #writingcommunity #authorblog #readersoftwitter #settings #mushrooms #forest”

  1. I’ve never harvested mushrooms because I’m terrified of picking a poisonous one. But I love mushrooms and often make broth with store-bought mushrooms so I have a rich, meatless broth to sip on. (I rely on this for Fridays during Lent, but I’ll make it at anytime during the year.) Love this post, Denise.

    1. Thank you, Staci 🙂 That sounds like the perfect broth during lent. I’m with you about picking wild mushrooms. I’d worry I was missing something.

    1. Thank you, Harmony:) Glad you enjoyed it! I hope you have a wonderful week too! Hugs back xo

  2. Your basket of mushrooms looks delicious! I would love to go out in a forest and pick some, but would need you to come and tell me which ones are edible! Loved the information and photos.

    1. Thank you, Karen 🙂 I’m not an expert but extremely curious! I enjoyed exploring the local mushrooms.

  3. I’ve gone mushrooming, and eaten a lot of them. My own style is to find something you can’t mistake, like morels. Study them, and the few things that resemble them, so you can tell them apart. Then pass up everything else until you learn more. They make wonderful photographs, but hands off until you know what you’re doing.

    1. That’s the smart approach, Craig! Morels seem pretty distinctive to start with, but one should definitely know what they are doing. Yes, they are beautiful to photograph and I do when the squirrels don’t beat me to them.

    1. Smart, Liz. You would have to be very educated in mishrooms to do so, I’m not.

  4. Intriguing, Denise. There is something about mushrooms that makes me go, ‘Ewwww’. It shouldn’t. I’m going to picture that squirrel eating one next time.

    1. Thanks, Jacqui 🙂 They are pretty to look at but I keep my distance. Squirrels sure clean them up, good idea.

    2. I’m not a mushroom fan either, Jacqui, except for Sea Mane mushrooms. They’re gross looking but fixed right they’re amazing. They taste like pork chops, well as I remember pork chops tasting. It’s been over twenty years since I’ve had meat:)

    1. Thank you, Balroop. I am not a fan of their taste either but the rest of my family loves them. I do like admiring them though.

  5. I find mushrooms fascinating, Denise. This is a wonderful post. Have you seen the Schwartzberg film “Fantastic Fungi”? Amazon video is running it, and it might be at other places too. It’s beautiful.

    1. Thank you, Teagan:) That video sounds interesting, I will check it out! Hugs back xo

  6. I love mushrooms, but I never harvest any. My brother had a friend who said, “If God had intended man to eat mushrooms, he wouldn’t have put so many poisonous ones on earth! 🙂

  7. I recall death by bad mushroom was featured briefly in the children’s book Babar.

    If you have Netflix, I highly recommend the documentary Fantastic Fungi.

    Happy 4th of July to you as well!

    1. I will have to check out Babar.

      Thanks, I want to Watch Fantastic Fungi. Good to know its on Netflix.

      Happy Fourth of July to you too!

    1. Thanks, Sandra. Yes, it was so interesting that it doesn’t bother them. Maybe they have really fast metabolism. Xo

  8. An interesting exploration of the mushrooms on your Magical Trail, Denise. We have lots of mushrooms in our woods, but other than chanterelles, I’m too nervous to try them, even with some research. One wrong assumption can be so deadly! A diabolical idea for a murder mystery or thriller though. Thanks for sharing another visit to Finn’s Forest. 😀

    1. Thanks, Diana 🙂 I agree one wrong guess could be deadly. It is a great book plot though.

  9. I’m a mushroom fan but had no idea there were so many varieties. Shows you what I know, lol. We don’t get many selections in the local markets.

    1. I didn’t know there was so many either, and we had so many in our forest either, Teri 🙂

  10. I would be afraid to try any mushrooms I found in the wild, but I know there are distinctive ways to tell good from the bad. This was a fun and informative post. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I feel that way too, Jan. My son mushroom hunts, which makes me nervous, but he is a biologist so I guess he knows what to look for.

  11. You’re right, there are so many interesting stories going on all around us in the woods, if we’d only take time to stop and listen. Thank you for this informative tour, Denise!

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