Copyright 2015 by M. D. Vaden
Shaggy Mane ... the Unexpected Expected ... aka Ink Cap
The name of this mushroom reminds me of the cartoon character Shaggy from Scoobie Doo. His name fits with his hair. When I find these, sometimes remember the exclamation "hey Shaggy", stemming from previous episodes on television. The character's full name is Norville "Shaggy" Rogers. He was born in Coolsville and later teamed-up with friends to form Mystery Inc. (rhymes with Ink)
Honestly, the closest hair I've seen to Shaggy's in the redwoods, has been Chris Atkins, master of tall redwood discovery, in-between haircuts. Almost Einstein-like a few times.
This is one of my favorite mushroom fungi in the parks, and I do not find them often. I do not look for them. But sure enjoy it when I see them. As small as they are, mushrooms fascinate me and stir appreciation for theintricate nature of this God-designed Earth.
The mushroom, sometimes called ink cap, is uncommon for how fast it can turn black and dissolve itself in mere hours after being picked or depositing spores. Although its edible, I have not tried cooking any yet. And for those who know how to ascertain identification, its tricky due to preparation and timing. Also, picking these is not permitted in the redwood parks. The speed in which is can change appearance may fit Shaggy's master of disguise ability in the cartoon series.
If you see one ... just say Zoinks !!
Image: Shaggy Mane in Redwood National and State Parks