You may remember that my last mushroom foray was a little bit of a disappointment. It’s not that it wasn’t fun, just that we didn’t find too many mushrooms. The year had been dry up to that point, and that doesn’t bode well for fungi-obsessed folk.
But this foray was incredible. We found so many mushrooms, it filled two entire tables. And they weren’t small tables. I love searching for mushrooms because it’s like a treasure hunt for me. How many can I find? How many types can I fit into my basket? There’s always a little spike of excitement every time I see something I’ve never seen before.
And this foray was filled with tons of those moments!
I started the trip off right away with this beauty:
No idea what they are, but the tree was just covered in mushrooms. It was too neat not to take a picture of it.
You know what else we discovered right away? A beehive in the ground. That got our blood pumping early in the morning! It’s a good thing I can run faster than most of the other people in our group.
One of my favorite finds was this cool purple mushroom. (Disclaimer: This time around we found so many mushrooms that I can’t even begin to tell you what most of them were. About 99.9% of them were inedible anyway.)
We also found tons of Russula’s. This one is a very nice specimen (don’t I sound smart!) because it was still quite young, very vibrant, and hadn’t already been partially eaten.
About the time I found this one, one of the guys from our trip showed me another mushroom. It was white and he cut it open, then told me to touch the tip of my finger to it and taste the liquid that came out of it. At first nothing happened, but a few minutes later my tongue started burning just a little bit. It tasted a bit like pepper and was just a tad spicy. That stayed with me for a good half hour at least. It was kind of neat!
It’s a wee bit blurry, but this one is called Old Man of the Woods. This is a young one, which is quite light still.
Here’s a picture of an older one that’s a bit darker.
I liked these because they were really soft and fuzzy!
We also found whole patches of Crown Coral mushrooms.
And here’s just a neat picture of two different colors of the same (?) mushroom.
Here’s a nice picture of the gills of a mushroom:
And these are some GIGANTIC puffballs. I’ve never seen them this big before! Some varieties of puffballs you can eat, but not these ones.
These are chanterelles, which is what we were really after. I didn’t find any (bummer!) but we got a nice handful here. No tasting-testing this time though, because I had to leave early.
I also found this crazy mushroom on a tree. No one was really sure what it was, but it was HUGE!
And Dad found these itty-bitty guys. Aren’t they cute?
One of the guys in our group found this thing. No, you’re not seeing some strange new mutation of mushroom. That’s a skull. I think it fell out, but the reason why he picked it up was because a mushroom was growing inside of it! Anyone have any idea what it could be from? They thought it was a raccoon at first, but if you look along the bottom portion, it actually has a tusk!
Wasn’t that just loads better than the last foray? I walked away feeling proud and satisfied by how much I found. And considering there were about 20 people in our group, we came backs with TONS of mushrooms. Check out these tables:
I didn’t get a picture of it, but the best part was when the president of the mycological society showed us a “blue staining mushroom.” It’s whitish-yellow on the inside for just a split second when you cut it open, but then it turns blue! I’m not even joking!! You can see it in real time in a video on YouTube right here.
Now tell me that’s not about the coolest thing you’ve ever seen?
So, what do you think? Quite the haul, right? Which one did you like best? Have you seen any of these varieties before?