Let's get one thing straight, right away...

I am in no way, shape, or form, expert on edible mushrooms. So no matter what you may read here, you should 100% double-check with an authority on Maine's edible shrooms. Some can be extremely toxic, and it's not worth guessing. That said, there are several varieties of delicious fungi growing here. Maybe right in your backyard.

Weather is usually the big factor.

Between the heat and humidity of last week's weather, I noticed there were a few mushrooms popping up around the yard. Nothing special, just all the little ones I try to keep my dog away from. He'll try to eat just about anything, and rotting shrooms seem to be a big hello to his nose.

But I also saw a small puffy white shroom on the corner of the backyard. I noticed it at first because there was a slug on it. But the next day, I noticed that the cap had gotten significantly larger. By the fourth day, the mushroom was almost a big as my head. It's a Giant White Puffball mushroom. And they are delicious!

The big puffy shroom in my yard isn't quite white anymore...

This is a sure sign it's gone by, and is no longer edible. It's not poisonous per se, but the older ones that have started to change color can upset your tummy, kind of like if you ate uncooked fiddleheads. That's a tummy twister you don't want any part of. They're the absolute worst.

But if it's snow-white on the inside, you can enjoy it. It obviously tastes like a mushroom, but is very earthy, even almost a bit medicinal tasting. However, giant puffballs make the most amazing cream of mushroom soup. That's what I usually do with mine, if I can get to them before the slugs, haha.

But seriously..... don't eat any without checking with an expert.

I can't say it enough, and it deserves saying again. Do not eat any kind of mushroom if you're not positive of exactly what it is. They can be delicious, or they can be deadly. But experimentation is not the way to find out. Be careful out there!

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