A mushroom (or toadstool) is the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus, typically produced above ground on soil or on its food source. (Wikipedia)

I’ve had the opportunity to visit two Minnesota state parks this past week, Tettegouche and Jay Cooke.  Both parks have at their heart a river.  Tettegouche surrounds the Baptism River and Jay Cooke, the St. Louis River.  Both rivers have wonderful rock formations, rapids and falls.  The High Falls at Tettegouche is the highest waterfall completely contained within the border of Minnesota and is over sixty feet high.  The sharp, angular and upturned rock formations at Jay Cooke are a natural marvel and the famous swinging bridge affords excellent views of the rocks and rapids.

But, what does that have to do with mushrooms?  Nothing really, except that both parks have experienced ideal conditions for mushroom growth recently.  Although I photographed much of the other amazing scenery in the parks, I found myself singling out the mushrooms, partly because they are pretty amazing and I also wanted to document what I saw so that I could do research when I got home as to what I was seeing.  At Tettegouche I had a chance to speak with a mushrooms hunter who was very excited by the proliferation of fungus and he was kind enough to share some of his wisdom.  However, I am still hesitant to wander the woods gathering mushrooms by myself until I can do so with a qualified expert in the field of edible mushrooms.  Until then, I’ll only be collecting photos of them.

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