Friday, July 14, 2006

M is for Mushroom

Well all the rain we had in June produced a large variety of mushrooms in and around our yard this year. I really don't know much about mushrooms or fungi and I tried to look up what the different ones are called, but I didn't 't get very far. I wasn't able to make a guess what these were.

I think this mushroom is called Old Man of the Woods (Strobilomyces floccopus). If I'm right, this thing is edible. Can you imagine coming over for dinner and being served a plate of this! I did read that it doesn't taste very good. No matter what the reviews are, I think that this is staying in the garden. This one was found in a natural area on the edge of our yard among my hostas.

Now this thing is just down right necrotic looking. Maybe it is just an old man mushrooms dying off. It was very close to the it.

I found this mushroom growing on the edge of the lawn near a natural area. I thought the colors and the gills of this mushroom were very interesting.

I believe this one is American Caesar's Mushroom (Amanita jacksonii) It is very colorful and I saw several of these growing in the woods along our driveway.

I did find out that mushrooms can be used as a natural dye for fabric and yarn. Elizabeth from SABLE (Stash Amassed Beyond Life expectancy) dyed some yarn using dandelions from her yard. The results were great. I'll have to take a serious look around the yard and see what I can use for dyes. I would love to try my hand at dying some yarn with natural dyes.

There are a couple books on dyeing fiber with mushrooms, Mushrooms for Color by Miriam Rice and The Rainbow Beneath My Feet: A Mushroom Dyer's Field Guide by Arleene and Alan Bessette. I added them both to my Amazon wish list. I think this will have to become my next reading topic. If anyone can suggest a good book on natural dying in general, I'd appreciate the suggestions.


Elizabeth said...

Cool mushrooms!! I was going to do an M is for Mushrooms, but I was just going to stick with the supermarket variety. You have such a wonderful variation.

On the natural dyes, I said this in my post, and I think it bears repeating. Make certain that the yarns you use do not say Mothproofed. I was told by a dyer years ago that this can interfere with natural dyes. The yarns I used were probably from the 1940s or 50s. Have fun!

Mom said...

Once again you've got great photography.
Elizabeth said she used yarns from the 40's and 50's -- where does she get it? Or is just yarn that's been around her house or family?
What kind of quantity do you need for mushroom dying. Good Luck..

ladylinoleum said...

I definitely think you should give the dye thing a try. I was picking blueberries last weekend and thought, gee, I bet these would make a seriously wonderful dye...LOL.

Zonda said...

Great pics of the mushrooms! Could be interesting to see what turns out from the dyeing too.