Category: Help with Identification

The year for Pig’s Ears and Strange things in the woods

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img_1869Such a lovely day on Willamette Pass!  It had been raining; it wasn’t cold and we saw not a drop of rain all day.  Many mushrooms, especially the challenging LBMs, were fruiting despite the late autumn date.  Snow is predicted this coming week, so today may have been our last “local”(within an hour or so) mushroom hunt.  We returned to the places we had found Gomphus clavatus two different times earlier in the fall, and to our delight, there they were again!  These clusters were in excellent shape!  A few yellow Chanterelles, a perfect Aureoboletus mirabilis (Admirable bolete)  and Lactarius rubrilactus (Red Milky Cap) made the day even better, but the last thing we found was so VERY strange!  Check this out!


Phycomyces nitens or blakesleeana?

This is in the fungal kingdom, but is in the section of molds. Feels like hair, too. The longest strands are maybe 4 inches! It took me forever to remember what this is because I have only found it once or twice in my life.  Cool!!


Phycomyces species – “Pin mold.” It looks just like hair or fur and has tiny spore filled balls at the tips of the “hairs.”

Peter and Anne have lots of luck Nov. 11!

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peterannes111116From Peter’s email:

Anne and I went west of


Old Lactarius deliciosus. They turn totally green in age and if frozen and thawed.Santiam Junction today, and we saw many fruiting fungi. A beautiful day. We tramped in the woods for almost six hours.Santiam Junction today, and we saw many fruiting fungi. A beautiful day. We tramped in the woods for almost six hours.

Santiam Junction today, and we saw many fruiting fungi. A beautiful day. We tramped in the woods for almost six hours.

We brought home several beautiful bear’s head (hericium abietis), a dozen or so white chantrelles and several admirable boletes (b. mirabilis). What we brought home was in great shape, but we did leave a similar amount of specimens that were well past prime.
We sauteed the hericium for dinner with some shallots and served with shrimp and zucchini in a scampi style with rice. Most enjoyable. Tomorrow we will do something with the boletes and chanterelles.
We also saw some cool jellies: witch’s butter (tremella mesenterica), apricot jelly (phlogiotis helvelloides) and toothed jelly fungus (pseudohydnum gelatinosum).
Russulas, of course, were very prevalent, and a nice show presented themselves as what I call, “Welcome Mushrooms.” These are the ones that stand up and wave just when you get a few feet from the car and haven’t even adjusted your mushroom goggles. I think we were seeing r. emetica and r. rosacea.
We also saw this crazy green specimen with gills; also green. I included a picture, so if you know this one I would be interested to learn more.
Also included is a photo of tonight’s kitchen prep area flush with today’s treasures.



COMC meeting Nov. 9 update

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Dr. Carpenter shared his tips on using a key to identify mushrooms and then presented his own pocket book guide to mushrooms in the Oregon coast range near Mary’s Peak. The simple spiral-bound book is full of photos and descriptions of fungi that you could find hiking in the area and vicinity.  It makes me want to head to the spot and find these!  I don’t know how many he sold, but with nearly 40 attendees, his book table was busy at the end of the meeting. mushroomsofmaryspeak

November 9, Wednesday evening, next COMC club meeting

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Boletus calopus held by Dr. Steve Carpenter

Dr. Steve Carpenter will present information on how to use keys when identifying mushrooms and share his new pocket guide book, “Mushrooms of Mary’s Peak and Vicinity.”  Join us for COMC’s next meeting on Nov 9, from 6-8 PM, at the Environmental Center in downtown Bend, 16 NW Kansas.  Bring mushrooms for the ID. table which we will discuss during the first part of the meeting.

Lactarius rubrilactus – Red Milk Caps

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We have been lucky enough to find these “Red Milky Caps” on the last couple of field trips. These are good beginner mushrooms with their zoned caps, green splotches and red juice that sometimes oozes from the gill edge between the broken gills and flesh of the cap.  They hold their texture well when saute’d and have an excellent flavor. lactarius-rubrilacteus

COMC next meeting – Nov. 9 – Dr. Carpenter on Keys

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Central Oregon Mushroom Club’s next meeting is Wednesday evening, Nov. 9, 6-8 PM, at the Environmental Center in downtown Bend, 16 NW Kansas.
COMC presents Dr. Steve Carpenter who will talk on how to use mushroom identification keys. If you are new to keys or have been frustrated trying to work through them, Dr. Carpenter will give tips to make your investigation easier, with an emphasis on dichotomous keys. 
Why use a key? Keys give you a starting point with specific characteristics to notice. Many more details that separate mushrooms from each other can be condensed in a key as compared with descriptions and photos on a page. This makes it much more likely you will be able to give your puzzling mushroom a name. David Arora’s book “Mushrooms Demystified” has many keys that lead you to a mushroom name without a referenced picture in the book, listing far more species than are described in the text. Working with this information, you can use online photos to confirm a correct ID. or at least get close. This takes time, but solving the puzzle can be very satisfying and useful. Join us as Dr. Carpenter sheds new light on this process. 
Dr. Carpenter will also have his new book for sale for $15. “Mushrooms of Mary’s Peak and Vicinity” is a pocket guide for the central coast range where mushrooms fruit all year long. Those of us living in the High Desert often need some “coastal time” and this book would be useful on a hike in the woods. 
Here is a bio from our presenter:
Dr. Steve Carpenter has been collecting and consuming mushrooms since 1956 and is President Emeritus of Pacific Analytical Laboratory in Corvallis. He  was a Fellow at the New York Botanical Garden, where he joined numerous mycology expeditions to the Andes in South America. He was a Research Associate at the LA Museum of Natural History in the 1980’s and an NSF Principal Investigator at OSU until 1988. He researched fungal recovery at the Mt. St. Helens devastation zone, fungal interactions in old growth forest ecosystems and characterization of fungi that kill amphibians in North America.
If you are lucky enough to find mushrooms fruiting that haven’t been frozen solid, please bring them to the November meeting. We will spend the first bit of time (around 15 minutes) talking about what we have brought to the tables. 

Michigan posts fire maps online for morel hunters

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“There’s an App for that..”  Some government departments, i.e. Michigan’s Dept. of Natural Resources, are far ahead of others in providing pertinent information for successful mushroom hunting. Looking for morels in fresh burns is common practice in the spring and a map of recent fires online would be very useful here in Oregon.

Finding fungi using satellites! Fascinating work!

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Jessica, from my recent mushroom id. class,  attended a talk at the Breitenbush Mushroom conference about NASA satellite imaging and mushroom hunting. I found an information link on a NW mushroom club FB  post.  It seems that NASA can create maps of fungi that are in relationship with trees by using satellite images and research from above how the fungi are affecting the trees cycles, etc.  Here is an exerpt from the article to be found at:

nasasatellite“The team studied images of four U.S. forest research plots that are part of the Smithsonian Institution’s Forest Global Earth Observatory. In these forests, which include 130,000 trees across 77 species, the tree species associated with each type of fungus had already been mapped from the ground. The researchers analyzed images of the forest canopies taken by the NASA/U.S. Geological Survey Landsat-5 satellite from 2008 to 2011 in many different ways, searching for similarities that lined up with areas of fungus dominance. They found what they were looking for when they examined various milestones throughout the growing season, such as when the trees leafed out in spring and when they reached peak greenness. There were significant differences in the timing of these milestones between regions dominated by the two types of fungi.

Having identified the timing sequences related to each type of fungus, the researchers developed and tested a statistical model to predict the areas of fungus domination in any particular Landsat image from canopy changes alone. They found they could predict the fungus association correctly in 77 percent of the images. They went on to produce landscape-wide maps of fungi associations, uncovering intriguing patterns in forests that will be studied in greater depth in the future.”