Fall in Patagonia is mushroom season. After a long dry summer, the winter rains have returned and with them all the mushrooms. The mushroom is like a flower loaded with the spores (seeds) of an organism which is largely unseen under the ground. The mycelium, the body of the mushroom, are thread like hairs which can extend quite far through the ground or trees dead and alive.
These shrooms above were well disguised among the leaf litter. I missed them as I trudged up the hill but my little buddy with the eagle eyes spotted them.
These mushrooms above are growing on a log.
I was amazed to find these purple beauties down near the Mirkwood section of the woods on our farm. They look so glossy and wet,
These mushrooms above and below are growing in my pasture. Adventurous friends of mine introduced me to these edible mushrooms. They found out the hard way by trying one that looks similar but grows under trees. They got sick but are now careful to eat only ones with white gills that grow in the pasture. We ate them last year and they were delicious.
For further information, Chile has a Fungi Foundation with a website that has some interesting photos and a book you can order. The website is available in English but not the book 😦 I have asked them for some help in identifying my mushrooms.