Because the soil around my house has the consistency of hardened concrete, I'm constantly digging in buckets and buckets of organic material. Sometimes, this is compost. A lot of the time, the "organic material" is the free mulch that I get from the municipal piles near where I work. Since Robb and I bought our house, I have dug hundreds of gallons of woodchips into our soil. (I'm measuring in gallons, because I use five gallon paint buckets to haul the woodchips.)
All that decomposing wood results in a lot of interesting fungus in the garden. Even though California is in the middle of a massive drought, our garden gets a pretty good overnight dew-fall. Mushrooms have been sprouting up all over.
The photo at the top of this page is of a teeny-tiny bird's nest fungus. I've written about them before, both the one's I've found in Oakland, and the ones in France. I have mixed success photographing really tiny objects. This was the best I managed. The individual fungi are about a quarter of an inch across, maybe less.
The area where we removed the dying brugmansia has always been a hot-bed of fungal activity. Now that the brugmansia stump is decomposing, there seem to be more mushrooms than ever.
These tiny red mushrooms are very cheerful. Some time back, I had some idea about testing them to see if they might produce any interesting dyes. I harvested quite a few, and before I could do any experiments, I discovered that they were crawling with tiny maggot-like creatures. Ugh. No thank you. I'm not interested in making art from squirming ingredients.
I really enjoy the ephemeral delicacy of these mushrooms. They seem quite magical and mysterious to me.