What happens around Saint-Aignan when you get a lot of rain? Mud happens, yes. And the ponds start filling up with water again. And then champignons happen. That's mushrooms or, if you prefer, toadstools.
On Sunday we got 20 mm of rain in the back yard, after the 7 mm we had on Saturday. That's more than an inch total over the weekend. I was surprised when I checked the gauge Monday morning, because it didn't seem like it had rained that hard or that long Sunday afternoon. I'm not complaining, because we really needed the moisture, after a months-long dry spell.
I fact, there were 5 cm more rain in the gauge this morning. It must have rained overnight, bringing us to 1¼" in three days.
I've started noticing mushrooms scattered around the countryside on my walks out in the vineyard with the dog morning and evening. Sunday morning I noticed a bunch of big mushrooms at the base of the trunk of our biggest apple tree.
That particular mushroom "bloom" comes back year after year. I'm sure if you search back through this blog you'll find other photos of it. I wonder if it means that the roots of the tree are being attacked by the fungus.
Then yesterday I noticed that another mushroom cluster had bloomed out there. These come up in fall and again in spring around the stump of an old linden (tilleul) tree that we had to have cut down in 2003. The fungus is gradually consuming the remaining roots of that tree, and the stump has nearly disappeared now. One more wet winter, and all evidence of it will be gone.
I guess I ought to find our whether these two kinds of mushrooms are edible. Maybe somebody who reads this will recognize the varieties and tell me. It's unlikely, I'm sure, that they are good to eat, and of course they may be toxic or even poisonous.
I plan to look through the pictures in my mushroom book this afternoon and see if I can find them in there. Omelette, anyone?