Literally the night before, my girlfriend and I read a short story from All That the Rain Promises and More of some hunters who found a vein of puffballs growing beneath the desert floor in Arizona. While they were driving they saw from afar one errant, bright-white puffball breaking through the desert crust as a clue. When they dug it up they found another, and another, until they pulled hundreds of pounds of puffball from the Earth! Some were buried more than two feet! So with this knowledge and a little moral boost from the fungus we found, we set our sights to find disturbances in the soil. After just a few minutes we found one little mushroom creating a mound, barely peaking out of the soil just enough to clue us in.
Hooray! We found a mushroom in spite of the dry spell. A mysterious unnamed species of Cortinarious that isn't in the books!
We started looking around and sure enough another little mound had been pushed up looking like a person had stabbed a shovel in the soil.
We were finding more and more mushrooms that were completely buried! The air was too dry for any to make it above the surface for long, so there were little veins of them following the roots underground.
We found as many mushrooms as we could carry in less than an hour. Here was the greatest find of the day...
We were elated to find so many good looking fresh specimens on such a dry day, mid-summer in the Utah mountains. This species has been discovered before but has yet to be named. The entire Cortinarius genus including this particular specimen hasn't been fully explored officially. Which means even amateurs can do valuable research! Mycology is a widely unexplored field. It turns out the mushrooms we found are all inedible due to the simple fact that I don't know what they are. Some of Utah's deadliest species are of the Cortinarious genus, so I'll have to take my spore prints, dry em out, and add them to the collection! They were some lucky finds and it was a beautiful day at snowbird with my bfff.
Thanks for reading and please upvote if you enjoyed the content! Check out my feed for more Utah finds @fractalobserver and check out @kandywriter to see what kind of weird wonders are growing in Florida! A special thanks to @dber World Traveler for sharing some of his expertise and insight and taking the time to help me out by providing sources that might help me peg these difficult specimens!