Our next club meeting will be held on September 30, 6 PM, at the Environmental Center, 16 NW Kansas. This is a locals meeting with no outside speaker. Linda Gilpin will review the mushroom tables, discussing specimens that have been brought to the meeting. If you are finding mushrooms and plan to attend the meeting, please bring mushrooms to share for identification purposes (and bragging rights, if it applies.) If you can get out a day or two before the meeting and gather whatever you can find, please come share and learn. After the tables, Lawrence Boomer will show a great slide show of mushrooms you may find. Ken C. will make announcements about up coming mushroom field trips and out-of-area events you may want to attend. We will open the meeting to all who would like to share mushroom hunting stories. Join us for a personal locals meeting and stay tuned for the October meeting where we bring in Skye Weintraub to do a talk titled: “Tasty or Toxic.”
If you are interested in learning about mushroom identification, I am offering two classes this fall term starting 9/26/16. For the first time, I have scheduled an afternoon class in Redmond, 1-3 PM, for 4 Mondays with 2 full day field trips on Tuesdays. The usual fall class in Bend is offered on Monday evenings at the 6:00-8:00, at the Chandler Lab with 2 full day field trips on Saturdays. If interested, please contact COCC’s community education dept. as soon as possible.
We picked these yellow Chanterelles on Sept. 4 in our usual spot on the west side of Santiam pass. No matter how dry it gets or even how warm it has been, they come up in this same area every year at the same time and have done so for more than 20 years. I understand from others that the seasonal change in the amount of light triggers trees to start pulling sap into their roots. This stimulates fruiting in the underground mycelium that is in relationship with the tree and – pop!- up come mushrooms, specifically yellow Chanterelles. Who says it’s too dry? I am sure there is more to it than just this explanation, but it makes sense to me. I am always amazed and thankful to find these Chanterelles each season as they herald the beginning of mushrooms season!!
My mushroom maniacal friend Dale found a number of pounds of morels yesterday, July 26. Dale said he hunted near but NOT IN Crater Lake Nat. Park. The massive wildfires in the park last year created a bumper crop of morels, but 14 people are facing serious fines for picking in a national park. Dale carefully regarded his map and kept away from the park boundary, staying in the long fingers of the burn that traveled into the Umpqua Nat. forest. If you can get out and hunt right away, go now or the heat will dry them to a shrivel.
Thank you, Julie, for alerting all of us to this interesting talk coming on Aug. 2. Better get to Dudley’s bookshop early if you want a seat!
A fellow mushroom hunter brought me a couple young plants that look very much like these photos. He thought that they were some kind of mushroom. This is the fringed pinesap, Pleuricospora fimbriolata, a plant with no chlorophyll. There are other types of these plants that you may see more often, i.e. indian pipe or pine drops. Fringed pinesap is also quite strange and changes appearance in different stages. Note that the seed heads in the last photo look nothing like the young shoots. The most interesting thing about these type of plants is they are generally parasitic on fungi mycelium. The fungi mycelium are in a helpful relationship with trees or shrubs (mycorrhizal) but these plants are “mycotrophic,” living off the energy of the underground fungi. Fringed pinesap, like the others, is a true vascular plant with flowers and a seed-bearing capsules. Cool to find.
Nine of us spent 3 nights at the small group campsite at Walton Lake in the Ochocos. 6 more folks joined us for one night, and 4 more for just a day or part of a day. That makes 19 mushroom maniacs in one place, all hoping for a nice stash of morels to take home. We hunted far and wide, way up and way down, over and under, 5200-6300 ft. Whew! Morels? Most of us ended up with a handful, maybe even a dozen, or nothing at all after many hours of hunting.
The beauty of the Ochocos and the occasional batch of incredible wildflowers almost made up for the lack of tasty treats.
The coyotes howled and yipped each morning. A pileated woodpecker visited our campsite, drumming and drumming on a snag, looking for a mate, we guessed. What a huge woodpecker! A bald eagle visited the same tree as the crowd thinned down Sunday afternoon.
The mushroom table had some interesting specimens, along with the usual suspects – morel indicators like Sarcosphaera coronaria (Violet Cup,) Hygrophorus purpurascens, & H. subalpinus (waxy caps,) and troupes of Ramaria (corals.) The Calvatia sculpta, Sculpted Puffball, brought in by West and Justin perked our culinary attention. It was so fresh and perfect that we sliced it thick and breaded it with Tim and Tanya’s fresh green eggs and cracker crumbs, frying it in butter and olive oil. Yum. It’s hard to explain the taste, but well worth the trouble. Peter and Anne found one lonely Pluteus cervinus (the deer mushroom) that we sauteed for a tiny taste of peanuty mushroom flavor.
Penny and Paul with a little help of a crew, cooked vegetables and potatoes over open coals. Julie and Jim’s corn on the cob added to the delicious feast. To top it all off, Penny’s pineapple upside down cake was amazing. Plenty of food to feed all. Some of us brought our own additions to the meal and had to just STOP eating!
Three of us spent Sunday hiking up Round Mt. from the Walton Lake area. The wildflowers in certain spots filled the open areas. This trail is a National Recreation trail, one of 800 in our whole country. It’s a strenuous 4 mile up, 4 mile back hike (1800 ft elevation gain,) but we could see all the mountains from Diamond Peak to Mt. Adams in Washington! We found only a few mushrooms and nothing we hadn’t seen back at camp, but in the natural splendor all along the trail, we just didn’t care.
This is the required photo to make spring official. Clair sends his shot of cleaned and perfect Spring King boletes from Century Drive. I hear they are up, but this high heat will promote vast worm hatches in the stem and flesh. I just cut it all away in the field and bring home the firm clean flesh sometimes. Don’t let them sit overnight in the frig without inspecting for worms. These are easy for beginners to identify and relatively simple to find.
Central Oregon Mushroom Club has reserved the group campsite at Walton Lake campground for this coming Thursday-Sunday, June 9-12. The lake is a busy summer spot in the Ochoco National Forest, so we are lucky to get the reservation. We have room for more club members if you would like to come. If you don’t want to camp, you can come for a field trip for the day on Saturday, but email Linda to let her know (firstname.lastname@example.org.) We hope to find those elusive morels, but no guarantee since the season has been so sparse. Come join us!
Well, we had high hopes for a great morel foray this weekend, but it didn’t work out that way. My camping buddies decided to try a new area of the Ochocos, east and south of the town of Mitchell. The forest was mixed conifers, including pine, fir and tamarack, with all the right signs for morels where we hiked. Strawberries blooming, Sarcosphaera cornonaria (Violet Cup,) parts of the forest that were disturbed, even Calypso Orchids. Our camp was up high – 5700 ft. and the nights were cold, but the days were just beautiful. We varied our altitude from 5100 – 5800 and found maybe a dozen between the eight of us, hunting for several hours. Some were big, some were too old and some were just right (Goldilocks morels, as Judy called them.) The wildflowers were worth the trip and all of us saw pronghorns on our way out of the Ochocos. The mushrooming was very disappointing especially for my friends who traveled 4 1/2 hrs. to get there. I would love to hear from others who did far better than us. I know there are rumors of amazing finds, but usually it is a single gigantic mushroom, not clusters in any number. Please comment!