Sunday, November 18, 2012

Agaricus hondensis?

For three years now I have seen this "Meadow Mushroom" on one of my frequented walks. The first year I saw it, it was growing practically out of a newly deposited pile of fill, very gravely and barren. It had been trampled by children, so I only looked at it briefly. The second year the gravel had been taken away for use in trail construction, but the mushrooms were there in the same spot. They were soggy and buggy, so I did not bring one home.
Agaricus hondensis?
Today I found the patch not in the exact spot, but further up the trail by a couple of yards. They seemed firm and smelled nice, so I brought three home. There was something unsettling about their shape however, so I did some research.
Or possibly Agaricus moelleri
Both Agaricus moelleri and hondensis have more substantial rings than Agaricus campestris (Meadow Mushroom). The more mature of the three specimen has a largish felty ring so one strike against them being campestris.

Moelleri, however, does not have pink gills, which these specimens seem to have.

Hondensis is said to have "pinkish" gills when young, and the stipe is said to exhibit a phenolic odor (as does moelleri) which these specimens exibit. The stipe base of hondensis is also said to bruise light chrome yellow which this one seems to do. Hondensis is also said to prefer forested habitat, which is where I found these specimens.

So, despite it's pink gills (suggesting a Meadow Mushroom) and despite it's marshmallow shaped cap suggestive of moelleri, I will, for now, go with Agaricus hondensis.

Moellari is said to stain bright yellow at the very base of the stipe (the base of the three specimens I found were punky and beginning to rot so I could not use this test) and moellari sounds like it is more common, but still, I will stay with hondensis based on the colour of the gills.

I am open to comments from anyone who knows these mushrooms better than I.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Slimy Gomphidius (Gomphidius glutinosus)

I walked a long ways today and only found two Chanterelles and they were small and going brown at the edges.

The Slimy Gomphidius are out in fair abundance, however.

Here is the first one I spotted:

They were absolutely covered on the underside by little black jumping bugs:

There were a lot of little mushrooms growing on logs. In particular abundance were these little beauties:
Maybe Bleeding Mycena? Didn't try to see if they bleed...

Also some bright yellow ones I can't even begin to identify:
No clue what these are...

Thought at a distance these might be Winter Chanterelles, but nope, not sure what they are:
Not a clue...
Ok, this one I think I know:

Think it is Shaggy Stalked Parasol (Lepiota clypeolaria)
Shaggy Stalked Parasol (Lepiota clypeolaria)
See the whole album of photos from today here:

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Recommended Workshop -- Beginner's Wild Edible Plants and Mushrooms with Jessica Wolf

I have taken two of Jessica Wolf's workshops and found them to be interesting and informative. Jessica is a great presenter and guide, both for kids and adults, and very knowledgeable about mushrooms. I recommend her workshops highly.

Lycoperdon perlatum, Gem-studded Puffball

Probably Lycoperdon perlatum, Gem-studded Puffball
First sighting of the Gem Studded Puffball in an area I have seen them before. It was September 18, 2010 when I found one big enough to take home and eat. I was not impressed with the flavor.

These usually appear from July to October, so again, we have evidence that the fruiting season this year is a month or more behind. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

White Chanterelles (Cantharellus cibarius)

Today I walked for an hour in the place I found the Clavariadelphus truncatus (Flat-Topped Coral Mushrooms) last year without seeing anything except a gazillion Strobilurus trullisatus (Douglas Fir ConeMushrooms).

It was raining steadily and I was just about to head home, feeling very dejected, when I tried one more stand on the other side of the road.

There it was, gleaming in the growing dusk. The rain was coming down so hard I didn't take any more pictures -- till I got home.

White Chanterelles Washed and Wonderful
So yeah, while it meant walking back to the car in the dark, It turned out to be a great patch.

Interestingly it seemed to be the only area that had them and other mushroom pickers had been there earlier (saw several places where severed stipe ends were showing), probably this week, and most of the Chanterelles were just emerging, so lots of fir needles coating them. A handful were firm and on the dry side, and I think they had been out longer, but all the others were new and tender.

So I would say that the season if finally underway! Yahoo!

I tried brushing the needles off with my mushroom brush, but gave up on that and washed them. The smell of the mushrooms after being enlivened by the water -- well -- sweet and Chanterelley. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

First Chanterelle and Califlower in Nanaimo Area

Last weekend I walked in local parks and saw only one mushroom, a Shaggy Mane (Coprinus comatus) which was in a public area, so I did not pick it.

My finds today were a Cauliflower and a few small Chenterelles.

Here is the Cauliflower:
 Note the blue mold on it. I saw mold on several Chanterelles too, which leads me to think they came out earlier in the fall, and have been sitting here for quite a while.

Here is a Chanterelle completely covered in the blueish mold:

I walked for several hours and checked out a few spots that I know have had Chanterelles two years in a row.  Finally on a low spot where a creeks flows in the winter, in near some exposed bank, I found a few fresh ones, peaking out:

They were really small and I didn't pick them. A little further down the gully I found some more and took a picture with my headlight to show the size:

Then, finally I found a few worth picking:

No Slippery Jacks or Gomphidius or any of the common non-edibles. Did see a few Fir Cone Cap and some LBMs.
Some folks are saying we may not get the regular flush this year, and maybe not with the long Indian summer and no rain. Still, with all of November before us, I'm staying optomistic.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Conifer Coral Hercium (Hericium abietis) and Lobster Mushroom (Hypomyces lactifluorum)

After stopping at the Coombs market, where I discovered several excellent olive oils, I went to a nearby forested area and found a Conifer Coral Hercium (Hericium abietis) and a Lobster Mushroom (Hypomyces lactifluorum).

The Lobster was actually still mostly underground. I removed the duff to expose it and took this photo:

Here is the habitat it was in:
See it there on the right adjacent to my pack?

Then about a kilometer away (yeah, I walked about 4 k today in some fairly steep terrain and found only two edible mushrooms) was this beauty:

I carefully sliced it off the log and brought it home.

Where I took a close-up video of it and the lobster.

Of course when I cut into the Hericium, it was full of worms. The Lobster was not, it was nice and clean. I carefully trimmed out some of the least wormy bits from the Hericium and cooked them up to have with supper. Somewhat similiar to the Hedgehogs in flavour and more toothy.Think it would be better in a soup with a long simmer.

Will try the lobster tomorrow night.

Monday, September 17, 2012

First Golden Chanterelles

While paddling in the Sayward Forest north of Campbell River on Saturday September 15th 2012 I decided to have a little look in a promising patch of forest in the hills above Brewster Lake. Seconds after stepping off the road I found these little lovelies.
Curiously I walked for 20 more minutes looking and did not find any more, but I cooked them up and ate them within a few hours of finding them. They were very firm and mild tasting. I walked in a forest in South Nanaimo on Sunday and did not see any sign of any mushrooms, so perhaps we have not had enough rain here to trigger the fruiting, but I'm sure we will be seeing them soon.