Black Trumpets, Chanterelles and more

TrumpetHold on to your basket because it won’t be long. Yesterday I cruised through the large black trumpet patch I discovered last year and found a couple of early ones. With this weekend’s projected rain, I’ll be making a point to check them a couple of times a week since it’s close by.



In the same area are several chanterelle patches, and a couple are showing color. I made a count today and came up with over 50, both tiny and pickling size like in the picture. Some of my other patches are showing color, but it’s just a pinhead here and there. Go to my archives from June 2015 and June 2014, and you can compare the “fruiting schedule”.

R_virescensAlso found a Russula virescens which is one of my favorite L_hygrophoidesHoneyedibles and a Lactarius hygrophoroides. Believe it or not I collected a handful of honey mushrooms.




Destroying AngelLactarius argiThere’s a lot of other variety starting to show up, albeit not a lot of anything. Notables, but not edible, yesterday and today include Amanita fulva, Amanita bisporigera (Destroying Angel – in pix, Deadly poison), Lactarius argillaceifolius (in pix), and Ramaria spp.,

fly poisonI also always try to note the ground cover and flowers to help me remember the season I’m in. In the area today were numerous Amianthium muscaetoxicum (Fly Poison – in pix). I’ve foraged a lot of chanterelles over the years where fly poison was just past blooming. The individual flowers turn from white to yellow.

Rain is on the way, so be in the woods and be happy !!!

Chanterelles Coming

chant3Typically, in East Tennessee, chanterelle season is from around July 1st into September, depending on elevation, rainfall and temperatures. I have a small patch within a larger productive area where chanterelles start showing up as “pin head buttons” a little earlier. The one pictured here is in a small clump of moss. I took the picture last Sunday, May 31.

Like many mushrooms , chanterelles have a season, but within that season one will find variability in fruiting. That’s great because it leads to the months-long season we have. Unlike morels, where a particular patch seems to fruit all at once, a chanterelle patch will typically contain a variety of age classes – little ones and big ones. Always revisit a patch.

How fast do chanterelles grow? Today, June 6, I took this photo in the same place. They grchant1ow slowly, but, fortunately, also degrade slowly. By next weekend I should be able to pick a few small ones in this area. Actually, last year on June 15, I picked 1/2 pound  in this spot. In two weeks, or around the 20th, I should be able to get enough for dinner and then by July 1st the game is on!!

I was excited to see that, at this point, chanterelles are on schedule, because I have several guided forays scheduled in early July, and chefs are ready for mushrooms. I’ll keep you posted here on what is coming up as I find them. Be looking for Lactarius volemus and L. corrugis also. June is a good black trumpet month if you know where to look.


Oconee Foray 2014 and Aftermath

A_pelioma1Last weekend, I attended the annual foray at Oconee State Park in South Carolina. This annual foray began in 2008, and this year about 100 mushroom enthusiasts from the Mushroom Club of Georgia (MCG), the South Carolina Upstate Mushrooms Club (SCUMS) and the Asheville Mushroom Club (AMC), which is my home club. The yeoman’s work putting it all together was GMC’s Sam Landes and his volunteers.

I always try to get to this foray, because it’s where I’m able to keep my field skills current, and there are always species collected that are new to me. Over 160 species were collected this year. It’s sort of my annual fungus checkup! Prominent mycologists (amateur and professional) attending and helping with the I.D. tables were Jay Justice, Walt Sundberg, Britt Bunyard, Alan and Arleen Besstte, among others. The personal interaction with these folks is invaluable to me, especially since there are few experts in my area to share the Fungal Experience.

Each year seems to be different. For example, last year we collected more honey mushrooms than I’ve ever seen, but not a single one this year. Also, notably missing were oyster mushrooms, hen of the woods, only one chicken of the woods found, and so on. BUT, 26 different boletes were selected. It had been very dry, but about 4-inches of rain during the weekend changed that condition.

C_lewisiiOne interesting mushroom was a chanterelle-looking, and smelling,  thing that several of us, with Britt leading, spent at least two hours discussing over refreshments into the wee hours of the morning. None of us had seen it before.The next morning, Alan gave me a quick ID of Cantherellus tabernesis (the name derived from its first collection outside of a tavern). Later, Jay, noting the purplish scales on the cap’s surface, corrected it to Cantherellus lewisii. What I found instructional was listening to the systematic give and take by the experts.

B_luridus_1When I got home, I was able to immediately put my weekend bolete experience to use. A friend called a couple of hours after I returned home and said the was an “orange and green” mushroom in the yard across the street from his house. I knew the place because he had called me before when a great chicken of the woods had appeared, on two different occasions. Turns B_luridus_2out, it was two beautiful Boletus luridus specimens, This beautiful bolete is the only red-pored one with a reticulated, net-like ornamentatation, stipe. It stained blue so fast that I never got to see the flesh color when I cut it!!

It is classified as poisonous also. Good to know.