Mushrooms seem magical to me. I found these last weekend at Natural Bridge State Resort Park, near Slade, KY. I was looking and hoping for signs of spring and not having much luck. Then I spied these small, bright red mushrooms peeking out from the brown and gray leaves and twigs. The largest one was about the size of a silver dollar.
Later, I checked The Mushroom Hunter’s Field Guide by Alexander H. Smith and Nancy Smith Weber, to identify them as scarlet cup mushrooms. To my surprise I found that I had indeed discovered a sign of spring. They usually appear before the trees leaf out and “they may last for several weeks if the weather remains cool.” I’ll be watching for more of them in the next few weeks.