Watching For The Jack-O-Lantern
I’ve been watching, not for the Great Pumpkin, but for a large cluster of Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkins, Omphalotus illudens. Day before yesterday, they popped up. I think if I had been sitting there watching and waiting for them, I would have seen them spring up from the dark, dry soil, since I have been watching for them daily. But there they are. A huge clump of them. Really a wonderful sight to see!
For several years now, growing at the base of a long dead oak tree, there has been a patch of mushrooms, a color best described as radioactive orange. They grow in a cluster, much larger than most mushrooms I’ve seen, and they emerge later in the season than many other mushrooms.
Wild In Other Ways
Not only do they have a wild color, but their gills glow in the dark. Mighty cool, don’t you think! A perfect name for them – Jack-O-Lantern – since they are such a Halloweenish color and they glow in the dark. And those of you who might have thoughts of eating this mushroom — do not! This mushroom is poisonous! I’ll enjoy watching them while they are still around this season and I will watch for them again next autumn!