This started out as another in my series of “I hate hay fever” posts. I had been having mildly worsening hay fever-like symptoms for two weeks, and coincidentally noticing a lot of mushrooms, toadstools, and similar fungal species popping up in lawns, flower beds, and the sides of trees everywhere I walked. Since I have a mildly severe allergic reaction to spores and molds as well as pollens, it seemed like a good guess that I was reacting to all the fungus “blooming” around town.
Two separate fungal blooms are happening in our lawn: clusters of small brown toadstools, and slightly larger white mushrooms. It is the latter that form the fairy ring tangential to the curb in front of our house. Last year the ring had so many of the white caps around its edge, that it was impossible to miss. This year, so far, there are a lot fewer of the caps, but the little clusters of them mark out a circular area, once again. Several of the white caps are a lot smaller than the others, and you can’t see them as well in the picture I took. Since the camera is catching it at an angle, it appears elliptical rather than circular. Anyway, I’ve added a ring to the second image to help show it. (Click either to embiggen)