November frosts fail to foil fungi

November is popularly known as the month of frost in Latvia – an not without reason. Even if the meteorological winter has arrived, November still belongs to autumn on the calendar and still sees certain species of fungus flourishing in Latvia's forests.

More than one nature walker has probably noticed that a mini "boom" of small fungi starts every year in October and in November continues in full strength.

There are various other types of small-sized mushrooms can also be found in many places, but small cap mushrooms are seen much more often, here and there even en masse. You just have to look carefully. Even though they are bright, their fruiting bodies are small in size, so you have to look carefully. To achieve a higher probability of seeing something right in front of your eyes or maybe a little further away, it is advisable to first bend or crouch and then carefully look at everything around you: the ground, leaf litter, stumps, fallen dead branches and twigs, pine cones, acorns and so on.

In suitable places, various cap dwarf fungi may have preserved the expelled fruiting bodies even in very cool weather. In particular, there are a lot of them in forests, forest edges, less often in bushes and meadows. There is also no shortage in parks, cemeteries and gardens, unless they fal victim to rakes and other tools.

The most common small fungi to be seen in November are – thin-stemmed leaf mushrooms with thin, bell-shaped or curved caps. Dozens of species live in Latvia. In a humid environment, they often tend to expel many fruiting bodies close together, but they can also get by with just one. 

Many different small fungi grow in fallen cones (both spruce and pine cones), their fruiting bodies are very often visible on these cones. A dead cone lying on the ground is a favorite habitat of many mushrooms. 

Aong the fallen cones there is another interesting common fungus which is also known as the old lady's ear. 

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