Sunday, November 27, 2011

Remains of the Season -- Chanterell, Hedghog, Cailiflower, Meadow Mushroom

Drove to my reliable picking spot about 20 minutes from my house to see if there was anything left in the woods after the cold snap.

There was still snow in the ditches of the logging road (it has warmed up a lot since then).

The place was clearly picked over, lots of evidence of other pickers, which is to be expected so close to town, but within an hour  I found some waterlogged chanterelles still worth picking (and some I left in the field that were not!) and a bunch of small hedghogs, nothing very big.

Lots of rotting mushrooms of all sorts, clearly done in by the snow.

Here is what I came home with:

Brought home a sample of the mushroom I thought might be a Meadow. Sure looks like it is, but also looks like the bugs beat me too it. Might be the same story with the Cauliflower, which I was shocked to find within feet of the road at this time of year. One Cauliflower I saw the other day was past its prime, but this one looked ok in the failing light. I will wash it up and see.

Meadow Mushroom? Agaricus campestris

This little patch of mushrooms sprang up this last week.I took these photos on the 22nd. I think these may be meadow mushrooms, as I found a patch of meadow mushrooms earlier in the year not far from here. They had the distinctive pink gills, but these are not as noticibly pink. Matchmaker gave one response to my entry -- Agaricus campestris, so it probably is.

Trouble is it could be Agaricus hondensis which is toxic, or Agaricus moelleri, etc. too many look alike agaricus for me to trust identification without someone who knows for sure to guide me. It could of course be Agaricus subrutilescens, another prized edible. Maybe I'll bring one home tomorrow for a closer examination.

I found my first patch of hedghogs today. Have not had a chance to do any foraging except on my regular walks from the house, and I keep thinking that this late in the season I won't see anything. Going to have them for breakfast...

Monday, November 7, 2011

Helvella lacunosa (Fluted Black Elfin Saddle) and Laccaria amethysteo-occidentalis (Western Amethyst Lacciaria)

What a pleasant day I had. I went out with a good attitude, a light heart, just curious and not expecting to find any edible mushrooms. My stick in hand, 10 degrees, warm gloves, and a warm jacket. I thought to seek a route through the forest between two of my well traveled paths so that I might have a nice loop for future walks.

The first fungi of interest was Helvella lacunosa (Fluted Black Elfin Saddle). These were truly tiny specimens that I didn't at first see.

I was in a spot where I had found Hedgehogs last winter and where I found Chanterells in early October this year. They had come up in late August or early September sometime following the brief rains at the end of the summer. By the time I found them they were too far gone. It is a place in the middle of a forested area but it gets very wet at certain times of the year. I guess the low ground, between two rocky knolls catches the run off.

A little higher up I found more Elfin Saddle's with the commonly occurring parasitic mold (Hypomyces cervinigenus) all over them.

Pablo in this video says they are good to eat:

He says he thinks they taste better than Morels. J. Duane Sept says that they may contain a small amount of a toxic substance, monomethylhydrazine, which is realsed  if dried or parboiled for 3 to 5 minutes.

I wandered for quite a while and then found some Chanterells, a little waterlogged and near the end of their usefulness, and then found my first Lactarius rubrilateus, or Bleeding Milk Cap.

There were many "little white mushrooms" and the first choral fungas I have seen this season (Ramaria acrisiccescens, or Ramaria flavigelatinosa, or Ramaria formosa complex, perhaps?).

I found a nice patch of Laccaria amethysteo-occidentalis on a moss covered rocky shelf.

On the way home I found a delightful patch of Boletes with several specimens snuggled up to some, what I think were, Slimy Gomphidius (Gomphidius glutinosus).