So far, this Summer has alternated between being cold and wet and hot and humid. Consequently, I've noticed an inordinately large number of mushrooms springing up on everyone's lawns in my neighborhood. Mushrooms are funny things. They are indelibly linked in my mind with fantasy but they're weird in that they have a dual association. On the one hand, they can be whimsical things associated with fairies and pixies and, on the other, they can be the noisome evidence of rot and decay.
I also tend to associate mushrooms with classic artist Erol Otus, whose illustrations included more than their fair share of fungi, but he was far from the only D&D artist who made regular use of mushrooms in his work. My first -- and favorite -- D&D module was Mike Carr's In Search of the Unknown and it famously included a garden of giant mushrooms, an area that's become a fixture of my imagination when it comes to envisioning dungeons. Of course, D&D itself is filled with fungi and fungal monsters, from shriekers and violet fungi to myconids, ascomoids, and basidironds. It's a fascinating thing and one I've found myself considering many times this Summer.