Mushrooms as Art

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My apologies to whoever did this lovely collage of mushrooms.  My friend cut this out of a magazine and gave it to me, then forgot which magazine it was.  I can’t give credit, but I wanted to share this anyway.  If you know the artist or magazine, please let me know so I can acknowledge their work.

The beauty of fungi

The beauty of fungi

Mushrooms as art #1

Neolentinus ponderosus – frequent local fruitings this spring

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I have received several emails about this mushroom and we found several yesterday on a field trip.  Because it’s favorite host is pine, we find it in Central Oregon each mushroom season and the mushroom lasts a long time.  It can grow to be over a foot in diameter! Sometimes called the Giant Sawgill, though I have never heard this.  I learned it as Lentinus ponderosus, but they changed it to Neolentinus because the brown rot it causes in pines is not white like Lentinus species.  With that in mind, it isn’t a good candidate for your compost pile.  As an edible, it is tough and just okay, in my opinion, though some sites online say the young specimens are quite good.  I do know that you need to slice it very very thin. Maybe my mushroom was too old.

Tough, long-lasting mushroom growing on wood.

Tough, long-lasting mushroom growing on wood.

serrated gill edge

Note the jagged and torn look to the gill edge of older specimens. This and the tough stature and growth on wood make Neolentinus a distinctive species.

PLEASE READ THIS IF YOU HAVE DOGS OR YOUNG CHILDREN AT HOME!

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Julie Hamilton worked many hours on this tri-fold brochure for dog owners to have at home.  Check you yard and property for these mushrooms that come up most commonly in the spring in Central Oregon.  They grow in my yard in SE Bend every year so I know that there are others.  The folks in LaPine have large fruitings of Amanita aprica most springs, so do diligence and frequently check, then dispose of the mushrooms in the trash, NOT the compost!

If we can save one dog’s life or a trip to the vet, then it is all worth the effort.  Every year we get calls to identify mushrooms that are poisoning animals.

dog flyer

Stinkhorn that’s not so stinky – Phallus hadriani

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Marianne's email photo

Marianne’s email photo

No, this is not a morel.

These mushrooms come up in people’s gardens in the spring. They emerge from a purple fuzzy egg into a phallic form that has a sticky green spore mass oozing at the top. Most stinkhorns are putrid, but this one just smells strange.  I have never seen them washed, but Marianne thought they might be morels and I can see the resemblance, but NO!  I have read that they purple eggs are edible, but you go feat them first and post how they taste! Fascinating mushroom!

 

 

 

..and they are still not morels, even washed!

..and they are still not morels, even washed!

Note structure inside the egg. I transplanted them to my yard but never got a fruiting.

Note structure inside the egg. I transplanted them to my yard but never got a fruiting. My photo from 2012.

Clair’s annual bolete photo on June 12

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From Clair K. ‘s email
Weighed in at 15 lb. Even the big ones are in decent shape, and will go in the drier. The buttons will go on the grill tonight.
I had to quit early, ‘cause I didn’t feel like processing more than that!
Seems like the best ones are at 5500 ft. or higher now. The warming temperatures through the week will probably blow them out fast
Only saw one morel today, an old one.
Clair

Clair's boletes 6:12:17

Boletus rex-veris, Spring Kings are up!

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We found some old spring kings and left them, but most were fresh enough to take home.  Many of the buttons were still underground and none of them had worms!!  We found these about 5600 ft. off side roads on the Cascade Lakes Hwy toward Mt. Bachelor.  I know the coming heat wave will make these babies pop, but it will also hatch out the worms.  Gotta get them quick!

Thumbs up, Axel! Good eye for spring kings!

Thumbs up, Axel! Good eye for spring kings!

Bolete basket with Axel 6:17

 

Dr. David Pilz will speak about morels on Weds., June 14

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We are excited to have Dr. Pilz come to Bend and share his fascinating talk about morels on June 14.  The meeting will be held at the Environmental Center in downtown Bend,  16 NW Kansas at 6 PM. Bring mushrooms you find for our id. table so others can learn what’s out there.
Doggone Eccentric Morels: The Opportunistic Mycelia of an Edible Mushroom Weed
Morels are among the most highly prized edible mushrooms worldwide. Yet many species are just now being definitively delineated and named. And they are weirder than Portland.

Conjoined morels often have genes from different parents. They can derive nutrition from multiple resources. Triggers for fruiting are complex and predicting where and when they will show up can vary from inscrutable to certain. They are experts at camouflage and require pattern recognition skills to observe. Indeed, trying to pin down morels can cause a form of ‘madness’ in humans.

Join me as we take out our tricorders and delve into the eccentricity of Morels!


Bio:
Dave Pilz is a Consultant and Writer through the auspices of his business, PilzWald – Forestry Applications of Mycology. For nine years he conducted research on the Productivity and Sustainable Harvest of Edible Forest Mushrooms at the Pacific Northwest Research Station (USDA-Forest Service) in Corvallis, Oregon. Subsequently, he worked four more years as a Forest Mycologist with Oregon State University. There he published research on the compatible production of commercially-valuable forest fungi in forests managed for timber and other amenities. Contact information and PDF files of most of his publications may be obtained at www.pilzwald.com

Hunting morels in the Ochocos, a long trek to find enough to make it worth the effort.

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Larry and us Ochocos

Ron, Linda and Larry. We found more than this later in the day. The Ramaria (corals) were bountiful and new at 5200 ft.

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Great view from Slide Mt.

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Balsam root still flowering in profusion.

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Our take home stash. Very few worms in the spring kings.

Ron and I (Linda) came home with enough at the end of the day to feel good about our two night trip to Ochocos.  It is so very beautiful up there in the spring that it is hard to complain. We looked hard for morels from 5000 ft to 6000 ft. and could not figure the best altitude for fruiting.  The Spring King boletes, Boletus rex-veris, surprised us with the fresh and firm specimens and they are all drying in my food dryer as we speak.

Spring mushroom indicator species

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While hunting morels, we often find other fungi fruiting in the same habitat.  True, it is disappointing not to find morels, but other interesting mushrooms reassure us that we are in the right place at the right time.  Maybe the morels are just not in this spot.

Note the disappearing veil remnants on the stem! Smell the distinct flavor of cucumber from the underside of the cap.

Note the disappearing veil remnants on the stem! Smell the distinct flavor of cucumber from the underside of the cap.

One of my favorite indicator species is Tricholoma vernaticum, the Cuke Trich.  It is a large white mushroom with a distinct smell of cucumber.  Note the evanescent ring on the lower stem.  To me, smelling this mushroom is like a breath of spring – like the spring flowers and lilacs in my yard.  It puts me in that exciting place where I can feel the aliveness of earth as life blossoms all around me. I love to find it in the woods and share the intense aroma with others.  All the literature I have says it is not an edible species. Okay with me.

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Beug's photo. Common find in the spring in Central Oregon.

Michael Beug’s photo. Common find in the spring in Central Oregon.

Another frequent fruiter during morel season is Hygrophorus subalpinus.  This large white mushroom is nearly underground early in the season and has a coating of dirt when picked.  If you look at the gills under the cap, you will notice they are very thick, almost like they were made of wax.  Rubbing a piece of the gill tissue between your fingers gives you the impression that your fingers are being coated with a thin layer of paraffin. Yes. This is a Waxy-cap,  Subalpine waxy-cap.  No, it is not edible unless you like to eat wax, and David Arora (Mushrooms Demystified) says it will coat your mouth.  What I notice most about Hygrophorus subalpinus is its whiteness. I mean, this mushroom is so very white WHITE that is seems unnatural, especially since it seems to get covered in dirt! When you turn it over to look at those waxy gills, note the beautiful white mushroom through and through! I wonder if they could make lotion from that waxy coating!