Photo by Evan Holmstrom

Cascadian Fungi: Delightful and Deadly

This Naturalist Note was written by Evan Holmstrom. Evan works as a Learning Center Program Coordinator for the North Cascades Institute. He has many interests and passions, not the least of which is the multitude of fungi that sprout in the cool, damp corners of our temperate forests. Enjoy his perspective on one of nature's most unique and fascinating kingdoms!

As we are summoned out of summer’s euphoria by crisper breezes and calming drizzles we begin to notice a change in the cast of characters acting out the story of the seasons. The birds have finished their courtship and rearing and the skies soon clear. Underfoot, the subtle voices of fungi begin to quiet announce their whimsical act before winter arrives.

There is ample reason for caution and temperance with fungus, yet there is also so much to be enchanted by and enriched by in this under-appreciated kingdom. Charismatic megafauna and local flagship flowers tend to get the bulk of admiration from nature lovers. While they are splendid, fungi reward a more patient intellect and curious eye with wonders unsurpassed by flora and fauna. Read More from “Cascadian Fungi: Delightful and Deadly”