|Mushrooms, moss, and Douglas fir needles.|
The straight, flat needles of Douglas fir have two pale white stripes running the length of each needle,... (TLEHCS)
It hasn't been a good year for mushrooms. In my usual haunts, I find only the smallest, pale brown ones, and pinhead white mushrooms; even those are scarce. I compared with my notes from last year. Where I found many and varied mushrooms by this date, now I find almost none. And none of the large, showy ones at all.
Discussing with other local mushroom observers, I have heard the same observation; the beautiful Amanitas are nowhere to be seen, there are no puffballs, the pine mushrooms near Elk Falls are missing, the turkey tails are old and dry; there are no new ones.
I seem to be finding fewer slugs this fall, too. Mushrooms are among their favourite food sources.
Could it be because of the long, hot, dry (very dry) summer we've just had? What else has changed?
Or is it also due to habitat loss? One of the places where I used to always see mushrooms, especially Amanitas, has been torn up by earth-moving machinery on its way into the bush to clear ground for a small shed; a lot of damage for a few square metres of use. There are no mushrooms here, not even the little brown ones.