Black Trumpet Adventure

Mystery3and4This all started last Friday, July 31. It had been relatively hot and dry, so I decided to go up on my favorite ridge top and see if our “mystery bolete” had come up, which it had. This is one I first discovered two years ago, and the Bessette’s needed some more dried specimens for DNA work.


photo 1Anyway, when I came out on the ridge top trail, I just happened to look down and spotted, by chance, a small patch of black trumpets. Most of them were drying out and crisping, and they formed a pattern of black areas that caught my eye. Some were still friable, and I got about 3 ounces, or abut a quart.


Trumpet PileYesterday, Aug 4, I went back on top and walked the trail, when lo and behold, there was another patch. I I found no others, so I headed off the trail and down to an open flat of upland hardwoods, headed home, when I saw the same pattern on the ground. Looking around, I spotted clumps of trumpets in various stages of freshness. After being on my hand knees for over and hour, I had this pile of trumpets from what I estimate was about a 1/4 acre patch.

T2 T4 T5 photo 2 photo 3Today, I went back to the patch to mark the boundaries for next year and look around for more. I found three more smaller patches, marked them,  and picked about half as much as yesterday – about a pound total. I learned several things. In a woods heavy with deer, the little black patches were easily confused with deer scat until I got closer. The nicer trumpets were in relatively shadier moister spots; edges of logs, next to a plant, fern, etc. In the open, they tended to be wilting and often lying flat, although they were moist to the touch.I checked out a lot of leaf clumps that were curling up and had grayish undersides. As the morning wore on, however, I got my search image synced with the surroundings and found several lone wolf singles on my way back to the truck.

I find few trumpets because of the way I search for mushrooms – looking outward and not down. Now I know where they are, however,I’ll be walking slow and looking down in this area which I frequent several times a week all year long.

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