COMC meeting, Oct. 24, 6:30 PM
Rosie Bareis Campus
1010 NW 14th (east side of 14th near NW Kingston)
Remember that anyone interested in mushrooms can attend this month’s meeting, This will bring in new energy and inspiration during a very discouraging fall. Please check your yard and fields if you can’t get in the woods and bring whatever you find so we can have some specimens to examine.
We did very lousy at the coast this weekend so we don’t have much to share. The talks at the Yachats Mushroom Show were so very interesting, though, and the weather only damp very late in the day. I hear that others have done okay finding Chanterelles and the rest of us would like to hear about this.
I will show my non-gilled mushroom slides if we have few things to examine.
See you there
We found some nice “lobsters” while searching for chanterelles near Oakridge last Saturday, and picked about 12lb. These have been delicious! I put some in a frittata for breakfast, and tonight we’ll have “faux lobster bisque” for dinner. The remainder have been dry sautéed and frozen for later. I believe folks often give these a pass because they look so bazaar and are somewhat messy. However they are easy to scrub clean with a soft brush under running water, and they don’t soak up a lot of water like some mushrooms. They have a great aroma and texture when cooked. We rate them as one of the best mushrooms we pick.
We also managed to gather about 15lbs of chanterelles on Saturday.
I also picked about 15lbs of chanterelles last Tuesday, then found a half-dozen matsutake on the way back from Oakridge; very tasty!
Thank you, Janice. Great information for all of us.
FROM AN INTELLIGENT AND NOW MORE AWARE FORAGER:
I went over on the old McKenzie Hwy this morning and tried to find a spot a friend and I had worked a few years ago. I got below the 2000 foot elevation marker and walked in. It was raining and definitely moist underfoot. The trees and forest bed were the sort that I have found chanterelles, pigs ears and lobster mushrooms in the past. I didn’t see a single mushroom. Not anything. I did manage to get myself lost for about a half hour. The forest was pretty dense and the sun was overhead and behind the rain clouds. I thought that because I was close to the highway I would have the sound of cars to fall back on in case I got turned around but all I could hear was the rain and the occasional airliner. I finally got my bearings by listening to the airliners which I was pretty sure were going north and south. One sounded like it was descending so I put that direction to be north, PDX, and adjusted my course accordingly. I think the thing I learned that was surprising is a person can get lost while they are moving slowly and not going far and being very mindful to not get lost. I finally found the forest road I had walked in on and went back. I determined that I hadn’t walked in from the highway as far as I was having to walk out and there was no way I traipsed through the uneven terrain such a great distance. So I turned around on the road and went the other way hoping to hell it was the same road I walked in on. The other way had a fork which eventually yielded two dead ends. Thank God! So that just left my original direction of choice and I came out to the highway right where I left my car.
When I admitted to myself that I was lost, a painful process in and of itself, I kept telling myself to hug a tree. I didn’t actually stop but I slowed way down and started thinking very critically because it was either that or succumb to panic. Even the assumptions I made with the information I had I held at arm’s length. “Knowing” where I was going would lull me into complacency and I might miss some important feature that I would need later when my direction proved to be wrong.
Of course I had no cell service. I did have food and water and enough clothing to not die. I told Rick if I wasn’t home by dark to come find my car on the highway. A good reason to leave your car on a main road I guess.
You might want to cover getting lost some night in your class. It’s a lot easier to do than I thought.
Sorry for rambling but in summary.
Test your assumptions. Can you really hear the road?
Is the forest so dense that you can’t see any landmarks?
Once you are lost keep an open mind and continue to test your assumptions so that you stay alert to new data.
A compass wouldn’t hurt.
So how could I not find even one tiny little anything at 1800 feet today? I drove on down to the Delta Campground where I have seen tons of mushrooms. Nothing.
Thanks for the website.
I received an email from a former student with this picture of a beautiful Sparassis radicata, the Cauliflower mushroom. Personally, I don’t think it looks as much like Cauliflower as some of the Ramaria species, like Ramaria botrytis. It seems more like a bunch of wide egg noodles all folded together. VERY tasty and an easy beginner mushroom! With this picture in mind, I was hoping that my class would find other mushrooms a couple of days later in the same area, but that was a real challenge. Even the deep moss was crunchy!
Sparassis is a parasite on tree roots causing brown rot, especially Doug fir but it kills them very slowly. The stem is definitely “radicating,” rooting down deep into the soil, as you can see in the photo. I have been picking Sparassis at that same site for probably 15 years. You can return to the same tree and harvest a bounty every fall if you time it right. One fall many years ago a single Sparassis was brought into the OMS mushroom show in Portland that weighed about 40 lbs.!
I hope you enjoyed that Sparrasis, Carl, and that I can beat you to it next year!
I was gifted several of these lovely mushrooms by folks who frequent the golf course. These Smooth Parasols are called by a number of common names and have two latin names in the mushroom books. I learned them to be Lepiota naucina but the powers that be now call them Leucoagaricus naucina. (Always changing names to keep me on my toes!) They are rated as edible, but a higher than average number of people seem to have trouble digesting them, which isn’t unusual for edible Lepiotas (Shaggy Parasols for instance.)
The silky smooth white cap, free white gills, distinctive ring on the stem and no volva remnants at the base put it clearly in the Lepiota group. It is very photogenic, like the Amanita species, but it has no patches on the cap nor on the ground around the base of the stem.
I caution those interested in eating it to pick specimens that are not on or near golf courses. The spray from the commercial lawns gets concentrated in mushrooms and can make you ill even if you have eaten it easily from other habitats. Just enjoy this white beauty, pick it to show others and to practice noticing the characteristics that make this so lovely.
Not many posts lately, so I wonder how the season is progressing.
We went out on a mushroom class field trip to the bogs and lakeside last Saturday. Everyone went home with something to eat, mainly little chanterelles, but a few king boletes, and a small Hericium too. Most of the kings were too wormy to take home, sad to say. One fungi fan had an eagle eye for Matsutakes, finding at least 5 and we debated about taking the chance of getting fined for having them in her basket, as per USFS mushroom permit. I mentioned cutting them in half to keep the commercial value at zero, but I left it up to her to keep them or not. It seems like such an unreasonable rule.
I also noticed how high the mushroom-hunting activity has been in the areas where we go with the class. Discarded specimens were everywhere when we arrived. Even at that, our picnic table was full of a wide variety of mushrooms, even nice buttons, so I guess they can’t get them all. The wet swampy areas seem to be our only salvation during this drought, so I am very grateful for bogs right now. Please think RAIN.