Saturday, November 8, 2014

Winter Chanterelles, Elfin Saddle, Bleeding Milk Cap, Admirable Bolete.

Graham and I were out looking for rocks, for a back yard project, and we ended up driving up the Cameron Main because the rivers are all really high, so no accessible rocks. I asked him if I could have 3 minutes to look for mushrooms and the above is what I found, just off the side of the road. How cool is that???

Then I asked him if we could visit another forest where I knew there to be Admiral Boletes from time to time. There had been some pickers there before us as evidenced by cut stipes, but we still found a good number of that most impressive of boletes in our area, but unfortunately all but one was past prime or full of bugs. Gray found two, the below being the largest. Too bad it was so far mature. Jessica Wolf tells me there are still some young ones out there, so planning a short excursion later this week. 


  1. My wife and I are just getting into mushroom picking. I was wondering if you are finding all of your mushrooms around Nanaimo? Not asking for your spots just curious. We found a couple pines today but the spot we went has been very picked over.

  2. Hi,

    Awesome that you are getting into mushroom picking. So far there are lots in the woods if you have the means to drive a little ways. It used to be that you could find a good number of mushrooms in local woods, but in the last 3 years I have seen more and more people picking. People are posting their collecting trips on Facebook now, so it is no longer a peculiar pursuit of a few extreme enthusiasts. ;-)

    With regard to where to go to pick them, many of my best picking spots are not far from the highway, but the truly rich areas, like the one in this post, are up logging roads a little ways and it takes a bit of poking around to find the good spots, but that's part of the fun, right?

    With regard to local picking, if you are looking for Chanterelles, I suggest going for forests that others might overlook. Generally both Hedghogs and Chanterelles are quite happy to grow under light to dense salal even in fairly young forests. The other choice mushrooms on my list tend to be in older forests, so they get picked out because old forests are easier to walk through.

    I do not pick in parks or sanctuaries, but these can be good to check out sometimes because they are easy to access and give lots of opportunity for identification and studying the favorable habitat. I found some chanterelles last week in a piece of wood just outside the city, adjacent to a park. Literally 5 minutes walk outside of a park boundary.

    Hope that helps!


    1. Hi,

      I am also in Nanaimo. I have found four pine mushrooms near Witchcraft lake based on someone's advise online but they were an anomaly and out of 5 hours of looking I only found those four. Everywhere else there was nothing and there were a lot of areas where people had dug up amanitas (thinking they were pines) and left them sitting a pile... I am not asking for a specific place but do you have any guidelines for areas of good forest to look for pine mushrooms near here? I am not interested in selling I just want them for home cooking.

  3. Pine Mushrooms. I am not very successful with Pines. They do grown in the forests around Nanaimo but it usually takes someone with experience to find them. So if you found 4 you are doing well! My sources tell me that the Ladysmith area and the Campbell River area are better for Pines. Also the forest south of Duncan is reasonably good for Pine hunting. I went on an excursion there and was surprised at how many were bagged by others. Alas, I came back with only the ones others gave me. Last year I was given one by some enthusiasts I met on the trail. They said a friend of theirs who grew up in a family of mushroomers, put his hand on several when they ask him if there were ever any around -- he felt around on the humps at the base of fir and pine trees. Just like that. This was on a piece of forest just outside of town I have walked over MANY times. Never saw a Pine there once, but within minutes he had several. Another factor is that it seems there are many more people hunting now, so perhaps they are being snapped up? Not sure.... I will say that the local forests do seem to be picked out at the moment. I walked over a very promising hillside recently and found nothing. I could see people further up the hill with bags of something swinging from their hands. Maybe I was just too late!!!