Originally published:
Austrailia Runner / Kiwi Trail Runner
July 2017

NOTE:  I Spy was a concept I developed and co-wrote with Vicki Woolley to encourage Australian and New Zealand trail runners to learn more about their running environment. Each edition focused on a different area of interest.


Fungi sits apart in its own kingdom, quietly making the fuel for our environment.  It's scent, shape, texture and colour offers infinite variation, often morphed by the micro-system in which it exists.

Fungi spotting is a fun and creative way to spend a few hours out on the trails, especially with kids. Hunt out fungi and give your imagination the freedom to wander with stories of mythical, miniature worlds.

For identification, fungi are categorised into groups which are based on similarities in appearance.  There are more than 20 recognised 'morphogroups' in Australia.

Set yourself the goal of spying fungi from all the morphogroups.  Pick your running routes based on the diversity of environment on offer, so you can spy a wider variety. Perhaps start a challenge with some of your running mates to see who can tick off all the list first.

Fungi Down Under Online is a fantastic resource to start learning about this intriguing aspect of nature: https://fungimap.org.au/index.php/fduonline-home/294/fdu-online-home

Kirrily Dear