In 2021, thanks to fortuitous rains, mushrooms sprang up in the Sandias like, well, mushrooms. What was most amazing was not their quantity but their variety. I was forced to get serious about my mushroom photos.
I check my photos against the New Mexico observations on Mushroom Observer, and have submitted many of them to that web site for others to identify. Even so, don't take the IDs shown here as authoritative. These pages of nature photos represent one person's voyage of discovery, not the studies of a trained expert—and when it comes to fungi, I'm farther out to sea than usual. If you see something I've misidentified, please contact me via my "Contact" page, which is tabbed at the top. Above all, don't rely on my species guesses when considering whether to stick a mushroom in your mouth. Eating a mushroom in the wild may not make you sick, but not eating it is guaranteed to not make you sick.
Images are organized alphabetically by taxonomic unit. Hover over a photo series to control the images. I discuss lichens, which are symbiotic colonies of fungi and algae, on a separate page.
Agaricales (Gilled Mushrooms)
Agaricaceae: Desert Stalked Puffball (Battarrea phalloides)
The ground at the base of this fallen mushroom had been pawed by some animal, which perhaps was looking for a meal.
Agaricaceae: Puffball (Lycoperdon)
As Michael Kuo explains, "puffball" is a popular term that cross-cuts mushroom taxonomy.
Amanitaceae: Fly Agaric (Amanita Muscaria)
These are sometimes called "Deadly Amanita." In August 2019 I found a number of brown amanitas but as a guess, that was due to a lack of moisture.
Amanitaceae: Grisette? (Amanita vaginata?)
This mushroom lacks a ring on the stem, which fits with the species description.
Pleurotaceae: Aspen Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus populinus)
Pleurotaceae: Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus pulmonarius)
Not to be confused with "the" oyster mushroom, Pleurotus ostreatus.
Psathyrellaceae: Inky Cap (Coprinus?)
Psathyrellaceae: Japanese Parasol or Pleated Inky Cap (Parasola plicatilis)
This was a solitary mushroom in the middle of the lawn at a city park.
Auriculariaceae: Jelly Fungus (Auricularia)
The Wikipedia article on jelly fungi admits that while few are poisonous, most of the rest taste like dirt. I don't plan to find out for myself.
Boletales (Boletes and their Allies)
Boletaceae: bolete mushrooms
On bolete mushrooms, the underside of the cap looks spongy rather than having gills. (They're not the only mushrooms for which this is true.) The brown examples from 2019 may have suffered from a lack of moisture.
The next set of photos shows "blue-staining" bolete mushrooms. When I turned them over to inspect the undersides of the caps, I damaged one of them. The damaged area rapidly developed a dark stain—a characteristic of multiple species within the family.
Mycosphaerellaceae: Septoria Leaf Spot (Septoria)
Here you see two sides of a cottonwood leaf. I'm identifying this as Septoria, as opposed to some other leaf spot fungus, based on (1) the light spots with dark margins and (2) the host plant.
Dacrymycetaceae: Dacrymyces chrysospermus
Gomphaceae: Woolly Chantarelle? (Turbinellus floccosus?)
Hymenochaetaceae: Inonotus munzii
According to one publication, this fungus "is one of the main decay fungi of willow and cottonwood in the Southwest."
Polyporaceae: Cryptoporus volvatus
Polyporaceae: Trichaptum abietinum
Russulaceae (Brittle-gills and Milk-caps): Russula