Click on any picture to see a larger image
This fall was probably one of the worse for collecting mushrooms up this, is the forest at least, and I think it was because of a combination of dry weather and very cold days. It also started late, but was expended by the lack of snow.
However, I did find many lawn mushrooms in decent numbers, and some that I have not seen before.
I also added some of Debbie Viess's and Dimitar Bojanchev's wonderful mushroom photographs taken recently on their individual trips to a few States back East.
Dimitar's are linked directly to his own site and resized on the screen to fit my format, so they will take a bit longer to download, and the links to the larger images are to MUCH larger pictures: east-treats-3.htm
Hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I did.
And late in the season, I added a page with some nice mushroom photographs from Taro Narahishi, taro-photos.htm, and hopefully will be adding more.
Findings, August 16 - December 9 (top)
Tuesday, August 19: It finally cooled down into the mid 70's on Tuesday, so we decided to check a few of our chanterelle spots close to home at around 4500 ft, to see if any managed to come up in spite of all the heat and lack of rain.
We actually found 5 small ones, under almost imperceptible bumps in the packed dirt. I am sure if we looked harder that we might have found more, but we will wait a week or so in hopes of rain. I doubt if they will grow much in the meantime unless we do get some, as the ones we picked were all pretty firm from the lack of moisture.
On the other hand, we may go back up in just a few days (if it is still cool enough), to look harder for more before they get completely desiccated.
Like I seem to always say at the beginning of a season, "It's a start!"
Sunday, November 2: It stopped raining up here for a few minutes and the sun came out, so I decided to go out and check our local park here in Greenville.
Because I didn't see much at first, I picked a few Suillus brevipes and even less Agaricus campestris, the common Meadow Mushroom.
As I wandered around, I came upon large clusters of mushrooms that I recognized as the Fried Chicken Mushroom, or Lyophyllum decastes.
I cooked some immediately when I got home and enjoyed both the flavor and texture.
Some images are at the following links, best viewed in full screen mode:
Monday, November 17: I have NOT seen any mushrooms at all in the forest near town YET (3600ft.).
However, I went back to our local park to pick more Fried Chicken Mushrooms for tonight's dinner, and in the process I also came across one cluster of the smaller dark-capped Lyophyllum loricatum, which I feel have a better texture and taste than the decastes.
They were all delicious cooked with chicken and garlic tonight, served over toasted slices of sour dough bread!
Burp! (Please excuse me)
Tuesday, November 18: Late this afternoon, on the way back from a short shopping trip, we decided to check out a few of our spots near Lake Almanor.
The first was an Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) spot just along side of a trail. There we found the same three downed trees spotted with Oyster Mushrooms in clusters, probably all Doug Fir trees. Most of the mushrooms were on only one of them, but we were able to bring home about 3 pounds. The bag sure felt heavier than that by the time I got back to the car. Most were still a bit young.
The second "spot" was one of our Shaggy Mane (Coprinus comatus) areas, which is along the side a road a bit farther north.
There we did not see the multitude we had expected, finding only two clumps, but the total take was eight, ranging in heights from 3" to 8", few yet starting to turn black.
Not a bad haul of edible mushrooms for the day, enough for several meals.
In a week, there should be lots more of both.
We just might return there too.
We plan to try making some oyster mushroom fritters using the largest ones.
Sunday November 23: After lunch and it was finally sunny today, I went back to a few of my "spots" near Lake Almanor to see if anything had appeared since the last trip.
On the way there, I stopped to check one of my usually very productive King Bolete (Boletus edulis) spots, and after walking around for a half hour, on the way back to the car I spotted a huge mound. Under the mound was a large Queen Bolete (now named a Boletus regineus) in the same area where I had found two last year, and those were late in the season also. This one was very firm, still having a white underside.
Then I drove slowly along until I spotted a clump of Shaggy Manes and picked about half a basket full.
I checked my Oyster Mushroom spot again, but what had appeared since the last time was still a bit too young, so I will probably check again this next weekend. Maybe there are more boletes out there somewhere?
Monday, November 24: I went to the local park in Greenville again today to see if any new Lyophyllum had appeared since my last visit, but no such luck. What was still there was beginning to show the signs of the very cold nights, compounded with aging, but still pickable. I left those.
On the way out of the park, I noticed what looked like some white mushrooms or crumpled paper cups. As I got out of the car, I was pleased to see the cups turn into several groups of agaricus in the packed earth next to the second ball field. There were many still under the dirt. Most were pretty filthy.
By the growth pattern and habitat, I immediately recognized these as a species I had rarely found up here, and that is the Agaricus bitorquis, one of my favorites because of it is much more firm and meatier than the A. campestris. Also, it tastes much better to me, with a stronger flavor.
I picked all I could see that were above ground, some already having been pulled out and placed on a bench for me.
When I got home they weighed in at 1 1/4 lb.
I first tested one with KOH for a non-reaction, then I carefully rinsed, sliced, and cooked them very slowly in butter. They are firm enough to survive a quick rinse, but still gave off a lot of water as a result of my rinsing them.
Friday, November 28: Today while walking to town, we saw a bunch of meadow mushrooms (Agaricus campestris) in a lawn close to the road, so I started picking them for my tee-shirt basket.
When we saw a few even closer to the road that were as big as the portabellos in the store, I decided to come back with my basket. I have NEVER seen any this big before.
To the right is a picture of what I brought back and am having for dinner tonight.
They were all fairly close together and fit all the ID characteristics. Hope I don't get sick because I missed something!
Follow-up: I went back to the spot where I had picked the large ones, and it was farther away than I remembered. I think now that they were the larger species, the Horse Mushroom, Agaricus arvensis.
Update, November 25, 2009: After finding them at the same spots again in 2009, but as younger specimens, I decided they were actually more of the short-stemmed, packed-earth loving Agaricus bitorquis.
Tuesday, December 9: I had thought my last report would be my last of the season, until today I decided to recheck my queen bolete spot close to town.
I checked around the area very carefully but unsuccessfully, and was about back to the car when I decided to look on the other side of the tree where I had found the last one.
There I saw a big hole, lined on one side with a mostly consumed queen. I picked out what I could, as it was still fresh and worm-free, thinking that would be it for the day.
Encouraged by the find, I decided to check a different spot where I had found some years ago. In many places I saw bumps with purple corts, most being frozen, until again I got almost to the car and saw a larger mush-bump, this time yielding a nice queen. As I walked around the tree, a large ponderosa pine, I found two more, all still with light-colored pores.
When I got home, I found more fresh mushrooms in the mail box, sent to us by our great friend Hugh Smith.
Nice day for foraging after all.
Follow up: The total cleaned weight for the 3 mushrooms was a little over 5 pounds. But when I tried to prepare them for the pan, the largest one was frozen almost solid, but I was still able to cut (or rather "saw") it into slices and fry it, using more oil than for the rest. This time I added peanut oil for a nice taste, and they turned our fine.
This means the only ones that might be good enough to collect up here, would be in thick enough duff to prevent freezing, next to a large ponderosa, like most of those were today.
Killing larvae by drying, and Lobster mushrooms (top)
From Brent Tindall:
From Debbie Viess
From Michael Beug
From George Riner:
From William McGuire
From Jason Hollinger
From Darvin DeShazer:
From Herman Brown:
Latin anyone? (top)
There always seems to be some discussion eventually about the correct way to pronounce the scientific names of all the mushrooms. The following is from a BAMS group posting by Ryane Snow, December 13, 2008::
Featured Mushroom, the Lyophyllum decastes (top)
Because this was one of the few years that I found them, I decided to make it the featured mushroom.
I have often enjoyed the taste and texture f these, as well as the darker version, the L. loricatum, as have most of those who sampled some of mine
For a direct link to this mushroom on the Mykoweb site, complete with pictures, go to: