Despite being relatively common, my wife and I were pleasantly surprised to see this almost perfect specimen growing on a dead tree in Gallup Park. The mushroom didn’t last very long, undoubtably foraged by an opportunist looking to score this large mushroom for several meals.
These mushrooms emerge in the early spring and fall as they seem to prefer cooler weather.
Photo by Stewart V. Nelson, 2018, ©️ Some rights reserved
A little research and I discovered that a dryad in Greek mythology is a tree-dwelling nymph and I guess that someone felt this might be their saddle. Personally, I think the Pheasant’s back is a more apt description of this unique fungi.