Category: Help with Identification

1st Annual Central Oregon Mushroom Photography Contest!

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First Annual Central Oregon Mushroom Photography Contest

Members, we hope you’ll get out into the woods and take part in the club’s very first Mushroom Photography Contest. There will be prizes awarded for the three best mushroom photographs. The entry rules are simple:

1.       Each member can submit one color or black and white photograph.

2.       Submitted photographs should be 8” x 10” or 8” x 12” (Costco makes great color prints for $1.79 each and you can do it online or in the store). Each print should be labeled on the back with a sticker giving the photographer’s name, address, and phone number

3.       Photographs must have been taken during 2015.

4.       Prints should be submitted at the November meeting. Winners will be announced and prizes will be awarded during the December Meeting.

So, grab your camera and bean bag, pack a lunch, and go spend an afternoon in the forest with Mama Nature and your favorite fungi.

Tom’s first Matsies

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IMG_0970Tom C. came by today asking me to certify that he had found Matsutakes. He has never picked them before and wanted confirmation about what he believed to be Tricholoma magnivelare.  He found them yesterday at 3700 ft. on the west side of Santiam pass. Several were buttons and all were in good condition to eat.  Remember that the smell of Matsies can permeate into mushrooms nearby them.  This means that an Amanita look-alike can take on that distinctive smell. Please do not just use smell as the defining characteristic to a mushroom’s edibility.  Look at all the parts of the mushroom, especially the bottom of the stem.  This means digging up the entire mushroom for identification purpose, not cutting it off.  Tom did a careful job of picking his Matsies.


Oh, the wonderful red-hot-cinnamon-dirty socks-pine-tree smell of Matsutakes!

We are anxious to hear how well he liked them.

Kurt’s cauliflower mushroom

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Kurt'sSparrasis10:15I was sent this photo by Kurt who wants to share his bounty of Sparrasis radicata (15 lbs.) that he found high on Santiam pass. Sometimes when they get this big, the maggots have hatched in the stem and proceed to devour the mushroom quickly, so look for worms in the base and the bottom of the noodle-like petals.

Sparrasis comes up again at the base of the same tree every year, if you can time it right. It is a slow-growing pathogen on fir trees causing brown rot, but it is an excellent edible and good for beginners because nothing looks similar to it at all if you really take the time to note the noodle-like branching folds in mature specimens.  The young ones are harder to recognize but strange all the same.  This is one of my favorites!

Field trip to Big Meadow Horse Camp area


At Big Meadow Horse Camp. Photo by Buddy Mays. L to R: West, Penny, Dave, Susanne, Michael, Linda, Bob, Julie, Paul, and Buddy (inserted)

Today 10 of us drove over Santiam pass on BuddyMaysa glorious day for a hunt in a previously productive spot (last fall.)  It had recently rained in the area, wet spots on the dirt road, but not enough nor soon enough to bring on the mushrooms.  After a couple hours of hunting in a beautiful forest, one person found one Chanterelle, one found one Matsutake, one found a shrimp Russula (Russula xerampelina,) another, a couple of Admirable boletes (Aureoboletus mirabilis) and several of us found Honey mushrooms (Armillaria mellea.) It was disappointing finding so few edibles. We did find some interesting items, like the almond-smelling waxy caps, Hygrophorus bakerensis and a very long-stemmed (at least 8 inches) Stropharia semiglobata (Dung Dong, as Arora calls it) growing out of a pile of horse manure.

Others found:

Leucopaxillus albisissimus

Several “Mock Matsies” Catathelasma imperialis (Big Cats)

One Hawk’s Wing (Sarcodon imbricatum)

Tricholoma focale (zelleri) – looks like a reddish Matsutake

Russula sp. attacked by a white mold, making it appear like a veil over the cap and gills (and other Russula)

Pine spikes (Chroogomphus tomentosus)

Dyer’s Polypore (Phaeolus schwentzii) – in all stages

Gomphidius subroseus (minature)

Suillus tomentosus (old)

Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca (beautiful and many)  – sometimes can be confused with Chanterelles

Assorted small Cortinarius

Assorted Hydnellums

We enjoyed the comradery on this colorful fall day with bear and cougar and coyote stories during lunch.  Thanks to all who attended!

We need more rain!!





Central Oregon Mushroom Club Meeting Sept. 30!


buddyatSparksBUDDY MAYS!

The speaker for our September Central Oregon Mushroom Club meeting will be Buddy Mays.  He will present a power point on how to photograph mushrooms, Weds. evening Sept. 30, at the Environmental Center, 16 NW Kansas (downtown Bend.) We are so fortunate to have a photographer of his caliber in our club. To read about Buddy’s amazing career as an author and photographer, check out his website linked here:  Buddy Mays. (Between 1980 and 2000, he was the recipient of dozens of national and international photography awards. In 2008, he was selected as one of the world’s top wildlife photographers by Digital Photographer Magazine.) Photographing mushrooms is a unique challenge because of the difficult lighting where mushrooms grow and the detail you need to really capture their characteristics.  If you have ever tried to get a good photo for identification purposes in the mushroom’s environment, you know the challenges this creates!
The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30 PM with the first 30-40 minutes set aside for mushroom identification around the tables. This means we want you to bring what you have found in your adventures in the woods (or property) to share with others. I will lead the discussion on identification.  Buddy’s presentation will begin directly after this and will last about an hour. When Buddy is through, we will all share our recent adventures in mushroom hunting.
Club Members Only:
After the sharing time, COMC club members will talk about the next field trip.
We are looking for club members who are willing to lead a field trip. You don’t have to know all the mushrooms, just be willing to organize a day trip to the woods. We can help you decide on a spot to go. It’s amazing how many more types of fungi you find in a group!  It’s so interesting and fun with others who enjoy fungi! Please let me know if you are willing to volunteer for this.
Don’t miss Buddy’s presentation on Sept. 30!


Giant Lentinus!

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This Neolentinus ponderosus (a.k.a. Lentinus ponderosus) was brought to my house by Phil H. who found it at Cultus Lake. It’s huge and old, but as is very typical the Lentinus genus with its sawtoothed gill edges (like they are cut with pinking shears) and very tough texture.  I pounded on the cap and it didn’t break.  Yes they are edible but very very tough and chewy unless you find a perfect young specimen and slice it extremely thin.  They say it is fairly good grilled this way. Phil with Lentinus ponderosus IMG_0941

First Chanterelles of the season

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We worked hard to find just enough Chanterelles for a couple meals.  The woods were wet, but not deeply, from the recent rain.  Under the big trees, the soil was still totally dry.  We thought we would wait a little to give the  mushrooms time to get big in the moisture, but our usual patch had been picked before we arrived:( Time to scout elsewhere. These were found on the west side of the pass about 3900 ft. in wet boggy areas.

In a new spot, we found a young Sparassis!  At first it appeared too wormy at the base, but they never made it past the basal part so we had enough to make a great egg breakfast!   Chanterelles and shallots in chicken/wine stock over spinach ravioli is a most divine dinner!!IMG_1761

Chanterelles are coming on!

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From Donna today, August 31:

“Mac and I went on a walk in the rain by Marion Forks yday.  On the lookout for chanterelles but thinking it too early, we harvested 3.5 lbs of goldens!  Nice surprise!  So away we go!”

Go check your spots and stay tuned for the upcoming COMC meeting in later Sept. and a field trip earlier to gather for my mushroom class that starts Sept. 21.