Mushrooms are ubiquitous. Mushrooms grow on mulch in gardens, on rotting logs and leaf litter of forest floors and in manicured lawns. Some are so distinctive that they are easy to identify. Others look so similar that it is difficult to discern one from another.
During my career as a biologist in New York, I was determined to learn a few new mushrooms; it was late summer and the woodland floor was moist from the summer rains giving rise to many species of fungi. On a park woodland trail, armed with a couple of ID books in hand I attempted to identify some unremarkable mushrooms. It was an effort at futility. There are over 10,000 species of mushrooms in North America; unless it is unique, I have no clue what species I am examining.
Suddenly, my frustration turned to hope as the a mycological club, hunting mushrooms in the park, approached me. I asked for help in identifying a mushroom I had been attempting to classify for 15 minutes. Members examined it and told me they had no clue. Ugh! That was the end of my attempts to learn the mushrooms. If anyone knows the species of mushrooms pictured here, please enlighten us!