Click on any picture to see a larger image
This end of year season started slowly for us, fungi-wise, but the rains finally came and resulted in a short but productive season.
This year I saw a few for the first time for me - a possible Tylopilus, the Cantharellus cascadensis, the Hygrophorus chrysodon and the Hygrophorus pudorinus,
Highlights of the season were finding the abundance of white chanterelles and lots of queen boletes, and taking some friends on their first foray in the area.
That, and seeing a second species of the chanterelle for the area.
Findings, August 15 - December 10 (top)
Sunday, August 15th: Cecelia and I went up to a spot in the mountains yesterday at 4500 ft. to see if any white chanterelles were out yet, and we picked about a dozen small ones. Cecelia found most, including one too wormy Gastroboletus subalpinus, a beautiful red Rhizopogon, and several white ones.
I may return in a week or two to see if the chanterelles continue to grow, as it was VERY dry everywhere.
But no boletus seen yet.
Sunday, August 29: Today we took a chance that it would not rain today and went up the Buck's Lake area (around 5100 ft) to see if any Boletus edulis were out.
At one of our usually faithful spots, we found an edulis right next to where we parked the car, the first we have seen there in a few years. I finally checked for the associated tree, and very close to it were two small Lodgepole Pines. We scouted around the area a bit and found 3 more, all pretty small but great for the table.
We went higher up the mountain, but did not find more.
We then went back down to the lake and walked part of the Buck's Loop Trail, which is at the north side of the lake.
There we found:
It was well worth the drive, but I did not think to bring my camera!
Saturday, September 11: This late mushroom scene has improved somewhat, although pretty dismal compared to some years.
However, everywhere we went, we found LOTS of various species of Russula.
This afternoon, Cecelia and I went with Chris Albion and Loraine Berry with us to one of our "secret" white chanterelle (Cantharellus subalbidus) spots. We did pretty good. Chris wanted to see what an area looked like that supported white chanterelles in this dry weather. It didn't take long for him to figure out how to spot the barely visible bumps and to get lots of them.
Most we found were pretty small and totally enclosed in the dirt.
A few under thicker duff looked more like real chanterelles.
Lorraine arrived a bit later, and after Chris left for home, we continued to look in a few other spots.
We did surprisingly well and even found a few new spots.
We also found several Gastroboletus subalpinus.
Total chanterelle take for the day was about 6 pounds.
The following day, I returned by myself, and only found a few. but found 3 more gastroboletes about 3-inches in diameter. After cooking them in butter, the taste was not unpleasant. The texture of the white flesh was very good.
If you want to see all the pictures, go to:
Tuesday, September 21: Today Cecelia and I returned to the Buck's Lake area, hoping to find some Boletus edulis.
At the first spot, we only saw a few Gomphus sp.
At the last spot, we parked the car and decided to take a different trail, the one that went toward the lake. At the beginning of the trail, someone had left a not-unwormy Boletus edulis, which encouraged us to take the trail.
I left the basket to ensure we would find something, and pretty soon we hit pay dirt, right along the side of the trail.
I left Cecelia to get my basket, and when I returned and removed the bolete with a knife, it turned out to be yellow fleshed and immediately stained blue - a Boletus calypus. RATS!
As we continued along the trail, we saw lots more of the same, including several Russulas, but no edulis.
We crossed the road and took the other trail, and found mainly russulas on one side of the creek, including one green one.
Then we went across the creek and immediately found a small Ganoderma oregonense and one small edulis, the only one for the day.
As we continued along the trail, we found a few species of Suillus.
We found one pink-spored Deer Mushroom, the Pluteus cervinus (good eating), growing inside a stump.
If you want to see all the pictures, go to:
Tuesday, September 24: Today we went up to Yuba Pass to see if we could find any Shrimp Russulas. We didn't. On the way to the top, we stopped at Chapman Campground and only saw a few Gomphus, and farther up the road and across a small bridge, Cecelia spotted some small orange mushrooms growing inside a red fir stump. I took another picture of them after removal from the stump.
At the campground at the top, we saw lots of different colored Russulas - some green, some red and white, some pink and yellow, and some cream colored ones.
Up Weber Lake Road, we found two of the largest immature Ganoderma oregonense that we have ever seen.
Along the road back, Cecelia spotted some old Sulfur shelves.
And back at the top of the pass, we saw more ramaria and a few beautiful, red-pored boletus, most likely a poisonous Boletus haematinus, according to Dimi.
At home, I cut open the larger ganoderma to show how thin the pore tube layer was compared to the total thickness in spite of it's size. I need to wait longer, I guess, because the layer is usually about half the thickness of the mushroom.
If you want to see all the pictures, go to:
The names with a "-s" in them are the smaller images.
Tuesday, September 28: This must be the year for the Boletus haematinus.
I had heard that some shaggy manes were appearing around 4500 ft, so we went to one of our shaggy mane spots near Lake Almanor.
We didn't find any shaggy manes, but spotted a partially-consumed Boletus regius right along the side of the road, near where we always seem to find them in the fall.
We went up into the woods to see if we could find more, but only saw lots of the Boletus haematinus. I mean LOTS.
We decided to check a spot where we had found some Oyster Mushrooms last week, and on the way picked one white chanterelle right where we had also checked last week, and it was actually above ground.
On the way we saw lots more of the Boletus haematinus, but the oysters were showing the results of the recent warmer temperatures.
We checked a few spots where we usually find the Boletus regius in the spring, but all we saw were hundreds of the haematinus, every place we stopped!
I don't know why, but the fall regius never seem to be found where the spring ones are found.
I sure wish the edulis were as prolific as the haematinus are this year.
Thursday, September 30: Today we took our bikes for a ride along the bike trail at Lake Almanor.
Along the way we found some beautiful Boletus regius, more of the same as yesterday and before, a pair of lighter-colored red-pored boletes growing close to a douglas fir, and which seem to have more red on the stipe, and one fresh Phaeolus schweinitzii, a good dye mushroom.
More pictures at images_2010/093010/
Friday, October 1: We are still finding lots of White chanterelles at the same 4500 spots that we check at least once a week.
Yesterday, we took our bikes for a ride around an area we have been finding so many, and we did quite well.
We checked one spot where we haven't checked at all this year and found some of the largest ones so far.
This is also very near my 4500 ft Ganoderma oregonense spot, and we found one small, but mature, one.
We actually found one small Boletus aereus (Queen Bolete) button, some Deer Mushrooms (Pluteus cervinus), plus a few Gastoboletus subalpinus buttons.
We also found, right along the side of the road, what I thought was a young clump of the rarely seen Pholiota terrestris.
As usual, Cecelia spotted most of the chanterelles.
I forgot to bring my camera with me this time, but took some shots when we got home.
Those pictures are at images_2010/100110/
Wednesday and Friday, October 6 and 8: We returned to Buck's Lake on the 6th and the 8th.
For both stories, with pictures, go to Buck's Lake, October 6 - 8, 2010
Saturday, October 16: A friend had told us that he had found some mushrooms that he felt were golden chanterelles on the way to work, and told us where to see them. We we anxious to verify his ID, as I have never seen on up this way.
We eventually found the spot, and did what he said he did, facing a particular slope and looking straight down. There were indeed some chanterelles that were not all white, and only the tops were golden.
I sent some pictures that our friend had taken, to Dimitar, and he said that we had found the Cantharellus cascadensis, a kind of cross between the golden and the white chanterelle.
They tasted good too.
Thursday, October 21: Today Cecelia and I returned to our white chanterelle spot at 4500 ft.
We found lots again, but we are seeing more and more other species each time we go. Besides the chanterelles, we found lots of Amanita, some Polyporus, lots of Lactarius, some Oyster Mushrooms, and lots of Cortinarius.
I took a few pictures, but I am puzzled by a chanterelle with slightly pinkish-colored gills, domed cap, and seemed have developed entirely above ground, not underground like the rest we find there.
Tuesday, October 26: We finally got some rain, so yesterday I decided to check a few of my white chanterelle spots, and again, did pretty well. Unfortunately, it was too soon after the rain, and they were all a bit soggy. Leaving them on a towel overnight seemed to fix the soggy problem and allowed them to be cleaned much easier.
I think it is best for me to wait more than a few days after a rain, before I go out and look for chanterelles. Saw lots of fresh Oyster Mushrooms Mushrooms too.
We have been picking lots of white chanterelles, in the same spots, since late August.
Today, I checked my local Fried Chicken Mushroom (Lyophyllum decastes) spot, and found more than a few clumps. These were the largest I have ever seen, probably because of the recent rain. They were all found in a very large grassy area.
And they will be served in a red sauce tonight, with Italian Sausage and fresh tomatoes.
Wednesday, October 27: In spite of the below-freezing weather last night, I took our friend Fritz to one of our chanterelle spots, so he could experience the thrill of finding them. He had never been out foraging before, so I had lots of different mushrooms to show him.
Most were frozen, but we picked about 5 pounds of the white chanterelles for him to take home.
While we were leaving, BAMS member Gigi Stahl arrived and asked it I were Herman Brown. I was, so we took her out together and picked a few more pounds. These were bigger (and cleaner) than the rest, probably because I took her to a spot where Cecelia and I had not checked for more than a few days, finding them in a spot we had totally missed before, which was under a pretty large bush.
A cold but nice outing with friends.
Friday, October 29: I just couldn't help myself! I HAD to do it!
Just two days ago, shortly after the recent rains and an overnight freeze, I had the successful chanterelle foray with an old friend from town and my new friend from the Bay Area.
Today, I just HAD to return to see how the white chanterelles survived after the last freeze. The day we all went, most were frozen but thawed out pretty quickly.
In short, they seemed to have done just fine. Many were still a bit soggy though.
I stopped on the way to my spots, rechecked an area that had nor shown any chanterelles activity yet, and found a very large one right on top of the ground, probably a result of an unhappy deer looking for his or her favorite, which fortunately for me, are not chanterelles.
I found almost a pound at that stop and then continued to my regular spot.
This time I tried walking in areas where I had not checked recently or at all.
I found them pretty much everywhere. Now, many are appearing above ground, making them much easier to find.
I finally had to stop because the basket was almost full and it was getting pretty heavy, compounded by the fact that the chanterelles were a bit damp.
My total take for today was 9.0 pounds (9 lbs of dirty, wet chanterelles)!
Saturday, October 30: This afternoon a neighbor brought over several boxes of mushrooms to show me.
The time he brought several Russula brevipes, a few lactarius, some Hygrophorus pudorinus, a bunch of oyster mushrooms, a few white chanterelles, a very large agaricus, probably an A. arvensis, and one beautiful Cortinarius violaceus.
I told him to keep only the chanterelles and the oyster mushrooms, but to leave the cortinarius for me. I showed him the "smash test" using one of the russulas. I also convinced him to buy a copy of Demystified.
A very beautiful mushroom, but pretty rare up here.
I told him about the edibility of all the mushrooms, including the violaceus, but said "Why bother when you have the oysters an the chanterelles."
I had planned to taste the violaceus, just to see what it tastes like, as I usually do.
I forgot to mention that he also had a large box of Ramaria rasilispora, which he had already eaten before without any problems, and he was going to eat all of them. He also brought over a few Amanita smithiana.
I told him about over-indulgence and personal allergies.
He was still talking about the several delicious meals he got from the large Lentinus ponderosus that I IDed for him about a month ago. I told him that I think that he must have an iron stomach, but to be aware that he could become allergic to any of them if he ate too many or ate them too often.
He will now always check with me before he tries eating anything, and this gives me another spotter, as he tells me where he finds everything. The cort was found very close to where I also saw one a few years ago.
Sunday, October 31: This morning, I cooked the purple cort.
I cooked it slowly with a little olive oil and butter, and the first this I noticed was that it was like a sponge to the oil.
I removed it from the pan and pressed out most of the oil, and it had a nice texture. The taste was distinctive and okay.
Cecelia made an omelet using it, with a little bacon added, and we had a nice and colorful breakfast.
But it is too rare up here and much too beautiful, to eat.
Later, I took a sack of cleaning debris from the latest batch of white chanterelles into the forest to bury them, at about 3600 ft.
While looking for the ideal spot, I saw a large, but pretty typical, boletus bump, under which was a large queen bolete, the Boletus aereus.
I searched all around the area, but only found one more.
It's a start!
November 2-16: For most of the first two weeks in November, we stayed in Arroyo Grande at our daughter's house.
In their yard, I found several species of mushrooms, all edible.
The first I saw were some shaggy manes under the staircase to where we stayed, and everywhere in the yard were several species of agaricus including some Princesses, the A. perobscurus, which I assumed at first were the A. augustus, but later found they had clean stems.
I ate each of the different agaricus, never quite sure what to name all of them, except a few looked mostly like Agaricus campestris, but all were delicious.
Every other day I had an omelet with one of more of the agaricus combined with the shaggy manes.
Other mushrooms found on the property included one Blewit, several Suillus brevipes, some unidentified puffballs, and several Leucoagaricus naucinus, the so-called Woman on a Motorcycle.
On one day we visited San Simeon, but only saw a few species there, most being found on the Point.
Most all of the photos can be seen at arroyo-11-10/
November 16 to 19: This will probably be the last report until the spring, as it got down to 7F this morning, November 24.
On the 16th, the second thing I did after we arrived home from our trip down south, was to check one of my boletus spots.
There I found picked about 10 pounds of queen boletes, and think I may even have found a pair of King Boletes, the Boletus edulis.
There was lots of pieces of chomped boletes around, from the deer had been munching on the crop, but there were still plenty left for me.
This will have been the best season at that spot for over 5 years. The recent rains helped much.
The next day, I contacted my new friend, Michael Condon, who lives in Quincy and had expressed a desire to go out with me, and I took him to the bolete spots and to few of the white chanterelle spots.
We both did pretty well at both places, and we picked a few new "edibles" for him to try, including the Hygrophorus pudorinus, a suillus sp,, the white chanterelles, and a small bit of one apricot jelly mushroom, the Phlogiotus hevelloides. We even picked a few delicious shrimp russulas, the R. xerampelina. Michael spotted these.
Pictures at images_2010/111710/
The next day, I went back to a different bolete spot and again did pretty well. I also saw what looked like clumps of the inedible Agaricus meleagris.
Pictures at images_2010/111810/.
The following day, knowing a storm was soon due, I went to a few of my chanterelle spots and collected what I could before the storm hit.
I did quite well again, and the chanterelles were not to soggy, considering the dampness of the soil. I also saw a few of the beautiful pink-tinged Hygrophorus purpurescens.
Pictures at images_2010/111910/.
The names with the -s in them are the smaller, thumbnail images.
I went right back the day after a second snow to see is I could see any boletus mounds, but no such luck.
Wednesday to Friday, December 8 - 10: Just when I thought the season had ended because of the below freezing temperatures at night and all the snow, the snow melted and we got some rain.
So, on the 8th, even with a light drizzle, I went to our local park to check my fried chicken mushroom (Lyophyllum decastes) spot, and found lots of wet ones in the grass. Right next to them, I found of the dark-capped, and smaller species, the L. loricatum. I think these taste better to me.
As I wandered around the park, I saw a few suillus and some too-wet-to-pick meadow mushrooms (Agaricus campestris).
As I got close to the car, I found a large batch of wet torks (Agaricus bitorquis), and picked almost all of these. These are one of my favorites.
A picture of that day's find: chickens-agaricus.JPG
Later that day, we found more A. bitorquis on a lawn in town.
The next day, Cecelia and I went to check our local queen bolete spots. We were pleasantly surprised.
Right off, I spotted two very large mounds, and under both were two fairly large Boletus aereus (now B. regineus). We also found several smaller ones that day, plus some shrimp russulas, one Hygrophorus marzuolus, some pink-gilled entoloma, a lentinellus on the side of a log, a pink-tinged Hygrophorus purpurescens, and some of the beautiful, orange false chanterelles (Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca), everything being pretty soggy.
It was surprising to see how many other mushrooms were out already: lots.JPG
Part of the take-home for that day: aereus-shrimps.JPG
Today, we went up to my daughter's property and I poked around the house.
Lots of mounds and mushrooms were almost everywhere!
Saw lots of Tricholoma imbricatum, slimy Hygrophorus eburneus, the red-latex Lactarius rubrilacteus, lots of different colored russula, more Hygrophorus mazuolus, some beautiful, unidentified velvet-topped brown mushrooms, and far too many more to photograph. On the way out we spotted a small Lions Mane (Hericium erinaceus), only the second one I have seen up this way.
Here is the link to a folder with most of the pictures that I did take today: 121010/
I saw on the weather report that we should have a sunny weekend following some light rain.
Guess where we will be!
Regarding Larry Stickney, 1926 - 2010, by Hugh Smith
More pictures at larry.htm and http://bayareamushrooms.org/laurence_stickney_tribute.html
David Rust had posted a site with a link to a technique for roasting thinly sliced shitakes with spices, that resulted in something close in taste and texture to bacon. In a reply, Anna Moore posted her own special recipe using other mushrooms, and I asked if I could include it with this issue of fungi-zette:
Featured Mushroom, the Hygrophorus chrysodon (top)
This was one of the new ones for me. It is a beautiful mushroom and I was impressed by the golden flakes on it's stalk, as seen above.
More information and images at Mycoweb: Hygrophorus_chrysodon.html