Hygrophorus speciosus “Brilliant Wax-cap” Basidiomycota

Blue Mountain National Recreation Area, MT
May 16, 2016
Robert Niese

The wax-caps were once considered to all be members of the genus Hygrophorus, but have recently been divided into several new genera, all of which are still taxonomically debated. This particular species remains in the genus Hygrophorus due to its ectomicorrhizal growth habit. You can find it in drier, east-side forests where larch is abundant. 

Sunset ignites the clouds around Mount Rainier’s summit in Mount Rainier National Park in Washington. To see this, hike up to Glacier Overlook and enjoy wonderful views of forests, meadows, streams, mountains and wildlife. There’s so much to experience, you might even miss the marmots. Can you spot the one in this picture? Photo by Howard Snyder (

This blacktail deer knows how to enjoy the wildflowers in Olympic National Park in Washington. Find a meadow covered in flowering purple lupines and settle in for a relaxing afternoon. Is there anything more peaceful than this? Photo by Jim Tobalski (

36 years ago today at 8:32 am, Mount St. Helens erupted and created the largest landslide ever recorded. This is one of my favorite landmarks as I got to watch the mountain from my bedroom window growing up, I have climbed to her summit, and I get to nerd out and study her in my environmental classes today. Go read some information and watch the films from May 18th, 1980- what a fascinating place! (at Mount St. Helens)

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