I shot this photo the other day while I was out walking with the kids. There were dozens of these mummified mushrooms scattered around.

In other places I've lived -- fungi-intensive regions like Washington state -- mushrooms tend to sort of turn brown and dissolve after a while. But here, in the humidity-less tierra encantada, our mushrooms desiccate where they stand.

I've found puffball-type fungi as well, with a stem that reaches into the ground.

I'm confused though. I always thought that fungi grew on decaying matter. But this is sand! What can possibly be it's raison d'etre? (French for Raisin Toast.) I've never seen these out in this field when they were fresh.

Anybody know what the deal is here?

(Click here for a larger image)

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Comment by mistypilgrim on April 28, 2009 at 11:37am
Mushrooms are pretty much opportunists. The spores can stay in the ground a long time and then pop up within a couple hours as soon as there's any moisture around.
Comment by Dick Chingadero on April 28, 2009 at 3:59pm
I guess so. I find it odd, though, that I've lived in Burque since 1973, and it wasn't until my second attempt at living on the westside that I saw these things. Do you know what sort of mushroom it is? What do they eat out there in the sand?
Comment by mistypilgrim on April 29, 2009 at 7:21am
Montagnea mushrooms? I found this link: http://tolweb.org/treehouses/?treehouse_id=4535
Comment by Dick Chingadero on April 29, 2009 at 10:03am
Cool! THanks!

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