Photographer Kurtis Hickling captures glowing mushrooms in Victoria's north-east

UNIQUE: Photographer Kurtis Hicking captures ghost mushrooms, or omphalotus nidiformis, in Mount Pilot National Park. Picture: KURTIS HICKLING
UNIQUE: Photographer Kurtis Hicking captures ghost mushrooms, or omphalotus nidiformis, in Mount Pilot National Park. Picture: KURTIS HICKLING

There's something magical growing, and glowing, in the hills of Chiltern.

Photographer Kurtis Hickling stumbled upon a rare display of ghost mushrooms, or omphalotus nidiformis, in Mount Pilot National Park during an evening bushwalk with his wife seven years ago.

"Lo and behold we saw faint glowing green blobs and went to investigate," he said. "I was absolutely amazed...It was definitively an overwhelming experience for sure."

Since then Mr Hickling has worked with Parks Victoria and Melbourne University to discover more about the fungi and why they grow in Victoria's north-east, spcifically Chiltern.

He said the glowing effect occurred when an enzyme produced by the mushroom reacted with oxygen.

Each year from mid-May to June, the mushrooms grow near the Honey Eater Picnic Area.

Mr Hickling said fungi send off spores that can be carried great distances to the right environment, but it appears the Chiltern spores were staying in the area.

"You never get sick of seeing it, it's something to look forward to [each year]," he said.

This story Yes, that is a glowing mushroom first appeared on The Border Mail.