I have, I believe, a fungi, under my thistle bird feeder, it’s almost scarey...about a foot in diameter, It’s black, and has a very fine, grass like appearance, growing straight up from it, I accidentally disturbed it, and it emitted a black smoke...probably spores. How do I get rid of it?...would lime destroy it? I’ll wear a mask to work on it! Thank you, I will appreciate your help. Irene Jones.
Washington County Oregon fungi identification
Thanks for your question, Irene. You are correct in believing that the "smoke" that was released was actually spores. When you see a mushroom on top of the soil, there is a fungal mass underneath, 'working' to break down fibrous tissue such as a decaying root. That is nature's method of returning nutrients to the soil to be used by future plants. Without a photo, we can't identify the fungus, and most Extension offices are reluctant to do so for fear of someone trying to eat them--with bad results! Staying away from the spores is a good idea, since some people are allergic to fungal spores.
However, it isn't going to injure you, and will undoubtedly disappear within a short time, especially with the upcoming rains. If you want to take a photo and share it, or take it into the Washington County Extension office, you can, with the above caveats. Fungi are a valuable part of our ecosystem, and shouldn't be destroyed, regardless of how scary they are!