Karen S. sent me this email today and included this amazing shot of the Fly Agaric, a.k.a. Amanita muscaria, from the Oregon coast.
“We went to Astoria hoping to find boletes but found out the season ended 3 wks ago. And it was apparently a pretty good one. Amanitas everywhere though.”
Sharing mushrooms, even just mushroom stories, is a delightful way make us all feel thankful we live where we do! The generosity of the earth never stops amazing me. It brings out a feeling of being nurtured and provided for when I meet the fungi where they are. I hope you experience ENOUGH this holiday season, in whatever form that takes, be it enough to eat, enough warmth, enough connection, enough time for yourself, enough time in nature and certainly enough mushrooms, fresh, dried or frozen!
Master Mushroom Man Dale has been out as usual, to the coast, of course. He found some Chanterelles, more than just this photo, though they are a bit old, a small Sparrasis, and MANY Matsutakes! The Matsies were a bit past prime, too, though some were buttons, and very sandy. Dale said he saw maybe 200 in the woods! If you are near the Oregon coast, look in the beach pines. The photos below are from mushrooms gathered on Weds., November 26 and Thurs. Nov. 26.
My friend Dale is an avid or should I say rabid mushroom hunter. He travels all over Oregon and Washington in search of mushrooms whenever he has a few hours or days to spare from work in Portland. Because he covers so many miles and makes frequent quick stops, he discovers a wide range of mushroom species fruiting where most folks never go. He’s not a commercial picker, just truly curious about fungi, especially the many edible species. I am lucky to be the recipient of his cell phone photos when he finds something interesting and his generosity when he is around Central Oregon sharing his edibles. Dale works hard for what he finds. He makes it look easy, but he puts in much time, travel and expense into this “addiction” (Dale call it this himself.) This is a shout-out to Dale for taking mushroom hunting to another level and allowing me to be part of his adventure vicariously.
Here are today’s photos:
I am unhappy that the early winter weather has stopped the fungi fruiting in its tracks. I wasn’t expecting such an extended deep freeze! So there won’t be much to post until spring comes knocking but Ky has other plans. Here is a way we can get fresh mushrooms before spring…..
Ky: “I’m not saying the season is over for the winter, but rather just for the foreseeable future. I didn’t want to see a lot of members making a wasted trip to the west slope in search of something that’s not there now. It will take a few weeks for yellowfoot and hedgehog to recover from the freeze once the snow melts and ground thaws at elevations under 2000 feet.
I realize that the snow and ice on the ground this early in November means the end of mushroom season around Central Oregon. It will warm up a bit again soon. When that happens, it is possible to find a hardy little mushroom on the west side of the Cascades, a bit lower down, that is tasty and fairly easy to identify. I am talking about the the Winter Chanterelle, Craterellus tubaeformis. It generally fruits in troupes (not always) so it is helpful to have scissors on hand to snip them off in bunches. These are small mushrooms that grow from well-decayed wood in wet areas. I find them on moss covered logs along creeks and rivers on the lower sections of the passes like Santiam (check out the closed campground areas.) They resemble Chanterelles only in the forked blunt veins that run down the stem under the cap. The thin, sometimes hollow or flattened stem is distinctive with its yellow “foot” when young. You need to pick a lot of these to make a difference, but that is often how they fruit given cool wet weather and they are worth the trouble!
Thanks to all of you who made the evening worth the trouble by showing up and participating despite the 15 degree temperature. We had 43 attendees, totally amazing. During the first half hour, we mingled and chatted and looked at some of the mushrooms brought in. Julie had gathered 5 or 6 small Amanitas from a yard in Portland and they fit the Amanita phalloides description very well. I was surprised how small they were, but that beautiful light greenish satin cap was very unusual. It was exciting to handle something with such a deadly reputation.
I brought in 5 or 6 Amanita smithianas given to me from a friend who hunted on his way here from Portland. They were a bit old so the classic crumbly white veil was not easily seen. It was fortunate that someone brought in several Matsutakes so we could visually compare the two look-alikes, a great edible and a toxic poison one, side by side. Next time I must remember a camera!
Our “show and tell” time was more “tell” than show, but many folks had interesting stories of their fall mushroom adventures and cooking or storing suggestions. There were many new faces and some I haven’t seen in years, but all shared a strong enthusiasm for fungi! One new face was a woman who traveled here for our mushroom club meeting from ASHLAND! She was very knowledgeable about local edibles and invited all of us to come down her direction where they are carrying out grocery bags full of white chanterelles.
Ky was present, selling wet yellow chanterelles and huckleberries. We ate the whole pound of Chanterelles stuffed in acorn squash tonight.
I gave a short talk on cold weather mushrooms (20 minutes) and had to cut the discussion off so I could get to the slides. I will put the slides on this site, as I get to them, so keep checking here and please comment. If I know you are looking at this, I am more likely to post more about mushrooms.
There is a lot of passion for mushrooms in Central Oregon!! Our club will do well if we keep meetings and forays happening!
Here’s a reminder that our newly rebooted club will meet at Rosie Bareis Community Campus, 1010 NW 14th, from 6:30-8PM. Ky, our successful and knowledgeable commercial picker has generously offered to bring fresh yellow Chanterelles for us to purchase at $10 a pound along with frozen Huckleberries from Mt. Adams for 12.50 a pound. We will share amazing stories of our mushroom hunts this fall season. I will show a short power point program on cold weather mushrooms. We are excited about the club restarting! Refreshments will be served. Hope to see you there! – P.S. BRING MUSHROOMS, frozen and all!
“Still lots of Chanterelle coming up, best looking of the season. I picked 50 pounds at 2500 ft today on the west slope. The question is will the cold air make it over the mountains over the next couple of days, not supposed to but as we all know, the weather man has been wrong before. If it does don’t worry, I’ve got about 350 pounds in the cooler and can bring you some to the meeting Wednesday. $10 pound. Let me know! :}”
Donna emailed that she and Mac found yellow Chanterelles on the west side, Hwy 126, outside of Blue River (Aufderheide) on Sunday, yesterday. The resulting mushroom gravy was “to die for!” With the prediction of snow in Bend in the next few days, this may be the last post of mushroom finds for awhile. If you are still finding things, please post!!