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Total Toadstool Tuesday

Good evening, friends,


It’s another atypical week at the MM offices as we were boots on the ground in Newport, VT yesterday for the total solar eclipse. We originally planned to go to Saranac Lake in the Adirondacks, but forecasted clouds pushed us (and half the population of the eastern US) farther north and east to a quaint New England town on the Canadian border. We were blessed with beautiful blue skies for the astronomical phenomenon and then chased that down with a ten hour trip home (twice the time it should normally take). I did enjoy how apocalyptic it all felt.


I was moved not just by the eclipse, but also by the tens of thousands of people that jovially came together to observe it. For a true recap with incredible photos from a real eclipser (after I saw the telescope and camera setups some folks had, I realized I was definitely more of a “casual”), I have to direct you to the best blogger in New York’s Capital region, https://chuckthewriter.blog/


I might be a totality chaser now, see you all in España in 2026.


A nice shot of totality in Newport from my friend Adam.
A nice shot of totality in Newport from my friend Adam.

Más Hongas de Ecuador


Now a subtle segue back to South America. There are a few mushrooms I still want to share before we broaden our perspective and look at all different forms of life. It’s a bit slow for fleshy fungi in the northeast right now, anyway, so all these little creatures can carry us into morel season (which might have already started :o).



A lichen (Dictyonema) that contains the psychoactive compounds psilocybin and DMT. The lichen has been used traditionally by the Waorani people of the Amazon.
A lichen (Dictyonema) that contains the psychoactive compounds psilocybin and DMT. The lichen has been used traditionally by the Waorani people of the Amazon.

Immature fruiting bodies of Lycoperdon compactum. Those dark scales wear away with age.
Immature fruiting bodies of Lycoperdon compactum. Those dark scales wear away with age.

Amauroderma, a tropical polypore that was so woody I initially thought it was a plant.
Amauroderma, a tropical polypore that was so woody I initially thought it was a plant.

The ventricose patterned gills of Marasmius cladophyllus.
The ventricose patterned gills of Marasmius cladophyllus.

All Walks of Life


A moth whose wings look like a leopard’s face (genus Gamelia).
A moth whose wings look like a leopard’s face (genus Gamelia).

A velvet worm (Onychophora). A basal lineage of invertebrates.
A velvet worm (Onychophora). A basal lineage of invertebrates.

A bioluminescent scorpion in the genus Chactas.
A bioluminescent scorpion in the genus Chactas.

A Purple Pinktoe Tarantula (Avicularia purpurea) about the size of my hand.
A Purple Pinktoe Tarantula (Avicularia purpurea) about the size of my hand.

A combination of the previous two insects (tarantula and scorpion): a whip scorpion (Heterophrynus).
A combination of the previous two insects (tarantula and scorpion): a whip scorpion (Heterophrynus).

Sobralia rosea, an orchid found in northern South America. Ecuador has the highest orchid diversity of any country in the world.
Sobralia rosea, an orchid found in northern South America. Ecuador has the highest orchid diversity of any country in the world.

The largest tree I've ever seen (Ceiba pentandra), complete with a river running underneath.
The largest tree I've ever seen (Ceiba pentandra), complete with a river running underneath.

Alright, we’re back to the regular scheduled programming next week, folks. Just in time for morel season… looks like one was already found in Central Park.


Keep your eyes peeled,

Aubrey


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