Amanita aprica is the most common mushroom in our Deschutes National forest right now. I have never seen it like this in the 27 years we have lived here. It is also fruiting in many yards in the city, so we are seeing frequent toxicity reports from animal owners, especially dogs. One man told me he collects a 5 gallon bucket of buttons every other day in LaPine by patrolling his property twice a day, trying to keep his show dogs from eating them. Last spring he nearly lost his prize dog due to these rascal fungi. The photo of the Amanitas sitting on wood is of some that fruit under my huge Ponderosa pine trees right in Bend. Note how the universal veil leaves a cottonly layer of material adhering to the cap besides the small warts. Often the apricot-yellow cap is almost entirely covered with the veil even in age. You can’t help but step on them while looking for Spring Kings! Please check your yard and property if you have dogs or young children! The only way to rid your property of them is to cut down every tree and that may not work.
“…found same ‘False Morels’ today that I cut and piled. Cheers. Gave away half the Spring Kings to other fishermen today and could of picked 50 lbs of corals… thick at S Century and upper Deschutes bridge
Central Oregon Mushroom Club sponsored a field trip to the side roads on the way to Mt.Bachelor this Saturday, May 30. The first stop was Virginia Meissner, an area heavily picked, but folks found a few bolete buttons and morels. The next area was near Edison Butte and participants all came home with Spring King buttons, some morels and even an Agaricu albolutescens! Here are photos of some of the fun thanks to Buddy Mays!
Thank you, Buddy for the photograph and for the reminder that these are NOT morels or even FALSE MORELS. Not even the same genus. Please don’t eat these, even if you have been told they are edible. Many folks have eaten these for years, but the toxin in them can build up in your systerm and cause great illness later, if not right away. The name is very deceiving because they are not excellent. Note the brainy-type head, not the ridges and pits of morels. They grow in the same habitat and at the same time of year. Beginners beware!
From Buddy: “We went to Cultus Lake on Monday and found about a dozen morels, all of them in pretty good shape considering that the forest is so dry. The campground hose told me that on Saturday and Sunday, several people had gone through the campground carrying grocery bags half filled with morels, so we may have missed the season there. I also found two spring bolete buttons, and I don’t think they have really started yet. But, the trillium are in full bloom. I hope some of you had better luck.”
From Buddy: “I found the strangest, largest morel today up around Meissner Snow Park that I’ve ever found. When I got it home I put it on our postal scale and it weighed six ounces.The first picture is when it came out of the ground, and the other is after I cut in half. It reminded me of someone’s brain……. Has the east side of the Cades been irradiated by aliens? Anyone have any suggestions as to why it looked like that?”
Ron and I and a couple friends headed to Green Ridge yesterday, Sunday. We found maybe a dozen morels near the top of the ridge (4500-4900 ft.) and most were good size (3″) and in good shape. Ron found 2 fresh small Spring Kings, but little else. Our friends found fewer morels but a couple of them were large beautiful blondes in perfect shape. I was surprised how few people we saw up hunting. I think the commercial folks have all moved on to fungier pastures.
The Portland group, OMS, was up there this weekend (I thought it was last weekend) and I heard they had many beginners who were delighted to find their first morels and boletes. No huge stashes, though one woman had 100 morels. I got a chance to chat a little with Dr. Beug and buy his new book on Ascomycetes of North America. Beautiful photos. If the rain continues, anything can happen.
“I went out for about two hours this morning and found these beautiful, large, morels on the side roads around Meissner Snow Park on the Cascades Lake Highway. The park itself has been pretty well picked over (although I met a lady that had just found the most perfect King Bolete I have ever seen) but if you stay in the spruce/fir/pine along the little side roads, there are lots of mushrooms. Most of the ones I found are in open areas, away from the trees, where there aren’t large collections of pine needles. They aren’t everywhere but if you find one, there are usually a lot more nearby. And they are big….really big.”
If you keep going on Rd 41 and head to the areas that have white fir, you might get lucky like my good friend Joanne. I, unfortunately, found nothing edible! This area gets picked frequently but we decided that they can’t get them all! 4600 ft. Thursday, May 14.
“..the big morels are beginning to pop in the Ochocos. This is about half of what we found in an hour’s gathering. They are in the spruce/fir/pine mix, and mainly on the sunny open hillsides away from the trees.”