In The Woods

sylvieThat’s where I’ve been the past two weeks, so now it’s time to catch up with a post. I had three private forays that were very successful in the variety and number of mushrooms the clients collected. Of course, I’ve been picking chanterelles, checking the lobster patch, enjoying my days in the woods despite the extreme heat and humidity.

Among the edibles found in the last two weeks Barnesare Chanterelles (many kinds), Chicken of the Woods, Lactarius (volemus, corrugis and hyrophoides, Purple Lacarria, Bicolor boletes, Sparassis, Fistulina (beefsteak), Black Trumpets and lobsters.


bicolor capsThere were also several mushrooms found that are interesting, especially. These are bicolor boletes that had the pileipellis (cuticle) eaten by deer. We watched one doing it in a patch of ferns.



GcyanGCThis Gyroporus cyanescens var cyanescens is the first one I have seen – ever. I believe that if I had rolled it around in my hands, I would have had a totally deep indigo bolete. A quite cool find.



L veridisI have only seen Lactarius atroviridis once, at an Oconee foray. This one we found in the Smokies, but several days later I found 4 or 5 in a group in my “close to the house” hunting ground. Oak-small beech mix.



TrumpetsI seldom find Black Trumpets, musch less on top of a ridge. But, the ridge is sandy. I was up there looking for the summer fruiting of my Mystery Bolete – next picture.



Myestery1Mystery2The Bessettes said they needed some whole specimens dried. I found 4 and they’re in the dryer.



LobHost1RbrevipesThe host for the lobster, at least in this patch, is Russula brevipes.





And of course, my favorite.

July was Wet

According to the US Weather Service, July has the highest average monthly rainfall at the Knoxville Airport. It HAS been wet ,and we’re finally above normal for the year. The result has been mushrooms out the whazoo!

bicolotI’ve guided several private forays, and the clients found plenty of edibles as well as a great variety of other species. I went to one spot where I usually find a dozen or so Boletus bicolor, and there were hundreds there. The picture shows the limited number we picked due to National Park rules on limited harvest. They were delicious dipped in egg wash, then a crushed pecan/flour coating and fried in clarified butter.

Speaking of eating, I marinated some more Lactarius corrugis (earlier post) using that ratio of 1 cup olive oil and 1/2 cup mild (rice) vinegar. I took it to a pot luck, and it was well received. It’s a good way to go.

IMG_6353In the “things along the way” category, I collect box turtle shells in varying condition during my bushwhacking. I also see at least one live turtle every time out it seems. This week, Ellen and I saw something quite different. Two turtles were hung up.  A male (red eyes) had its rear foot captured by the closed carapace of another turtle, sex indeterminate.

Turtle #2 was on its back and mucus was oozing out IMG_6354around turle #1’s foot. Using a knife as a pry tool we sucesfully separated the two and #1 eventually began to crawl off. #2 was most likely dead, Having observed box turtles mating, my best guess is this was a case of disengagement gone awry. Can anybody out there offer a better scenario?


IMG_6253I’ve been wanting a good chanterelle picture, and fortunately Ellen was with me yesterday. I think this one is typical of what we’re been finding around here.

Found a small rotted lobster mushroom Monday in a patch I go to. I think it’s drying out enough in the pine woods that they may be coming up any day. I’ll be checking every 2-3 days.

What’s a Holler ?

(click on pix to enlarge)



Some say a holler is a mispronounced “hollow”, but I believe “holler” was the original. It’s the space between two ridges and folks would holler, in sequence, from one ridge to the next – sort of a primitive auditory telegraph. A portmanteau would be an audiograph. In any event this is a picture of Joe climbing out of the holler we had gone down. ChantsTable

When I tell people to look in the hollers for Appalachian gold, here is what it looks like.