Recently I was able to spend some time in Minnesota’s gardens – our state parks.  We hiked on the North Shore; we

hiked near Banning, we hiked near Isle.  All the parks were beautiful and the waterfalls looked as if someone had designed them just perfectly.  (Hmm, is that where garden designers get their inspiration -- NATURAL BEAUTY?) Besides drinking water and sturdy shoes, one of the things I like to take along on my hikes is a good guide book.



Stopping along the path to identify parts of the garden are fun and educational.  I believe you appreciate nature more if you know more about what you are viewing.  You see past the beautiful scene and into a beautiful plant.


Last week, I brought the mushroom book and I found some fun ‘shrooms!  Chicken in the Woods is an easy one to spot.  It’s bright yellow and grows on the side of trees.  This one was about 4 feet up.  I’ve eaten Chicken in the Woods before – and it really does taste like chicken!  But because I didn’t know the rules of the parks,  I enjoyed this one with my camera not my fork. 



While looking and identifying, you come across such fun tiny scenes.  This one looked like the house of a family of trolls each with their own mushroom porch! 


Mushrooms come in all shapes and sizes.  They have shapes like coral, slime, and wood gnarls.  The colors range from bright red, to yellow, to a black trumpet mushroom that is very difficult to find because it blends in with the oak leaves fallen around the tree.


Have you come across any neat fungus?  What are your favorite hiking guide books?