Rõuge mushroom days in focus 2

Text and photos: Urmas Tartes
We usually walk upright in the mushroom forest. Even if we find the time – or some other reason – to crouch down, we still see the forest with a human’s eyes. But besides crouching it is truly beguiling to watch the mushroom forest lying on your stomach, as if through the eyes of a dor beetle. You know – the darkly blue-gleaming, sturdy-legged beetle that lies in wait of us on forest paths, in moss or near mushrooms.

We met the dor beetle when it eyed a deadly webcap cap from the cap of another deadly webcap.

Dor beetle on deadly webcap (Cortinarius rubellus) cap.

We too started to study the mushroom forest as a dor beetle would. And how fascinating it all turned out! The trio of rufous milkcaps suddenly changed into a bus stop shelter. Interesting: who might be the bus for a dor beetle?

Rufous milkcaps (Lactarius rufus).

The forest floor with fly agarics was like a beach with sun parasols. It was a quite sandy hillock, but all the same a magic mushroom forest.

Fly agaric.

The chanterelle is our mushroom classic. Domestic warmth, a taste of home. We saw that the dor beetle tried to bury mushrooms in the soil for its offspring too. So probably mushrooms are something home-like, something permanent for the dor beetle too.


There are already 180 species in the mushroom exhibition. Mushroom enthusiasts, hurry! Even remembering 84 mushroom species is troublesome. With 180, hours must be spent in the Rõuge Rahvamaja. Start in the morning




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