Hawaiian Rainforest Fungi

My first thought when I arrived in Honolulu and took a walk from my hotel was, “This is like Las Vegas.”  I suppose I shouldn’t have been shocked, but I was.  Shocked and disappointed that I was surrounded by miles of shops, towering hotel complexes, and a main drag congested with tourists and the varied assortment of barkers, hawkers, buskers and “World Famous Silver/Gold Men” that make Vegas the kind of place I’m all to happy to stay far away from.  I thought going to Hawaii would mean traveling thousands of miles to get away from it all, not traveling thousands of miles to see what I could see at any mall in America.  The last thing I wanted from my island vacation was to be stuck in Vegas By The Shore.

Luckily, Oahu is a small island and getting far, far away from the maddening crowd is really easy.  Just a 10 minute drive from the dreaded Waikiki strip is the lovely Hawaii Nature Center and its miles of hiking trails that take you up the mountains and into the rainforest.

It was here that I found a part of the Hawaii I was looking for.  Unbelievably, though it is just minutes away from the tourist cauldron, we maybe saw a dozen people here and they all seemed to be locals out for exercise.  The rainforest is, of course, beautiful.  But I have a fetish for fungi, so that is mostly what I took pictures of.

I’ll post more of the flora and fauna of the forest in the coming days, but this post is all about the shrooms, dude.

Another one of my fetishes is moss.  The moss in this rainforest was so lush and thick you could use it for a pillow.  I’ll have more on the moss later.

 I was really likin’ this lichen.  Which I guess is not technically a fungus.

I’m sorry I can’t identify any of these.  I’m pretty useless when it comes to the proper names.  I know I should learn at least some of the more common species, but more than anything, I just like the way they look.  To me, it’s fascinating that on these remote islands, thousands of miles away from the nearest land mass, thousands of years before humans discovered them, plants and animals were already abundant.

Stay tuned for more rainforest photos.  I promise there won’t be any mushrooms in the next batch.

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