Ten of us met at Fall River Campground this Sunday, June 24, and proceeded to explore nearby areas with more fir and less pine trees. At about 5,000 ft. and maybe 2 miles east of Crane Prairie, we found Boletus rex-veris and morels fruiting together. Almost everyone went home with a spring king and some had many nice specimens. We left the old wormy ones for the worms. Here are a few photos of our event. Thank you, George, for your habitat ideas and Julie for organizing all of this! Such a beautiful day and a delightful area to walk, even if you found very little.
On Jun 24, 2012, at 7:51 PM, Clair Kunkel wrote:
The recent rain appears to have caused a new flush of spring kings! The first photo is some fresh buttons that I picked this afternoon, altitude about 4800ft. The second photo is a big one (well, two really) that I found Saturday morning; it weighed in at 2lb/12oz, and was still in very good shape. Also found a nice puffball (Calvatia sculpta), third photo, about the size of a softball. I grilled a couple of slices of the puffball, and it was OK but nothing to write home about. I much prefer grilled kings.
I received two nice photos from Clair K. who has found lovely B. rex-veris buttons this weekend. Some folks have great eyes for these things. Three of us went up Century Dr. and roads off of it and each found one bolete and a handful of morels. My large bolete button, with no worms at all, was 2 inches underground and looked like a gopher mound, but much to my delight, wasn’t! From these photos, it looks like I need to shadow Clair. Thanks for the posts regarding the success (or not) of your mushroom hunts. I don’t feel so bad at working so hard for what we found. Everyone is in the same boat. I believe that the warm weather approaching could completely change the scene in a couple days, so keep up the posts, especially if you start to find quantities of morels.
Okay, tell me the truth. Who has found a reasonable quantity of morels this year, like enough to stash away and tide you over until next spring? Not me and not anyone else I have talked to. If you have, please post some encouraging words here for us all to get inspired.
The boletes, especially B. rex-veris, is up in large quantity I am hearing from several people. We will be finding some tomorrow, I hope.
Clair sent me questions about a bolete she found near the Metolius. Perhaps someone can answer her questions. I am not sure what else this might be besides Boletus rex-veris. Here is the email from Clair and the first photo is the one posted. Any ideas on identification after reading her emails?
“The first photo above is a Bolete I often find this time of year, usually under Ponderosa pine in the Metolius River area. I found these near Camp Sherman last Sunday. It can easily key out as a B. edulis type, but I don’t think it is. Flesh is white, no bruising on gills, cap, or stem, strongly reticulate near the apex. The gills seem to turn yellowish earlier in maturity than the typical spring king (now B. rex-veris). They also have a lighter, tannish cap compared to the deep red-brown cap I associate with B. rex-veris. Also these don’t feel quite as dense and hefty as spring kings. The only other possible i.d. I can come up with is B. fibrillosus; however Trudell and Ammirati (Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest) describe B. fibrillosus as having a long stem, whereas the one’s I find are rather stubby. They also refer to the habitat as being fir and hemlock, whereas these are in low elevation Ponderosa pine.
These were growing in small clusters, similar to what I call “typical” B. rex-veris. Maybe they are two variations of the same species, or just appear different in different habitats. However last year I did find both “varieties” overlapping in the same area on the same day, and they seemed to have two distinct appearances, and different densities in the hand. I know the B. edulis group is pretty complex with a lot of variation. I saw several more of these last Sunday, but most had been pretty well chewed up by squirrels and deer. We got three real nice ones, and ½ of one in good shape that a deer had left.”