by Brady Raymond
photos by Brady Raymond except as noted
The Ben Woo All Sound Foray was a smashing success. Not only did we luck out on the weather there just happened to be mushrooms everywhere. Once turning off highway 410 onto the forest service road our eyes were greeted by mushrooms and lots of them. There were clumps, clusters and collections all waiting to be picked by eager foray attendees trickling their way in throughout the afternoon.
Erin and I arrived a few hours early, we had some things to get around before the dye workshop she was teaching the following day. We checked in at the registration table and to our surprise there had already been found a few Matsutake and some Cortanarius species that Erin would be able to use in her workshop. We were very pleased by what we saw and that giddiness that all of us mushroom hunters know started to set in.
We couldn’t unload the car fast enough, I had never found a Matsutake and I figured my chances were high, especially since we had arrived early, before any competition. We decided to check out the “Longhouse” this building would be home base for specimen ID, the cultivation workshop as well as the dye workshop. The Longhouse was about a five minute walk from our quarters but what could have been walked in five minutes turned into a forty-five minute mushroom extravaganza.
Erin quickly spotted some dye corts then I spotted a few more, and on and on. Erin spotted a Boletus mirabilis, then it was my turn, then another and another. I have never seen so many of these Boletes so close and all in one day. “This should be a fun weekend” I cried and with a bit of a childlike chuckle, “Yeah” Erin responded “Very fun.”
Around a hundred attendees made up our foray and I doubt anyone left disappointed. Danny Miller handled most of the ID work and could be found in the Longhouse or roaming around the camp, always with some interesting mushroom in hand. I spoke with him at the end of the outing and in a few short days 226 species were collected give or take a few, many of those were found right in the camp. Danny provided a list that I will attach at the end of this article for those of you interested in what was found.
The first Evening Danny gave a lecture and afterwards foray attendees enjoyed a mushroom movie complete with truffle buttered popcorn. The evening concluded with a bit socializing and most folks generally had themselves a good time. For Danny though, his evening was spent eyes glued to a microscope, looking at spores and and other microscopic oddities of fungi. A good time I’m sure but with a bit of a learning curve for those of us unfamiliar with that scale of existence.
The next day a number of smaller forays were scheduled off camp. Folks had some luck finding a variety of things but in my opinion mushroom diversity was the best at camp. Aside from the diversity of fungi the forest itself was picturesque, everything was draped in moss and the beautiful Buck Creek babbled all the while (pictured above) a soothing natural soundtrack for the weekend along with all the other sounds the forest provides.
After arriving back at camp lunch was served and workshops followed. Dyeing, cultivating and cooking where all offered and all were well attended. I however, began my search around camp gathering dye corts for Erin. It was easy picking for the most part however, responsibilities of being a new father put a cramp in my mushrooming style. The price paid now will hopefully yield good dividends in a few years when our daughter gets the mushrooming bug. An extra set of eyes that much closer to the ground does seem promising.
I had yet to find my first Matsutake and feared it wasn’t meant to be. So I kept on picking corts and taking a few photos along the way. Then I saw one. “Could it be or is it just another moss covered Russula?” I reached down and grabbed it, only to have a handful of Matsutake mush. I shook my fist and before I could curse the mushroom gods I noticed another only a foot away. A small but perfect specimen and of course excitement overtook my better judgement and I picked it before I even thought to snap a picture. Either way it was all mine.
A number of people found Matsutake, some large, some small and most seemed to be in good enough shape for the table. And wouldn’t you know I didn’t get photo of any of them. I assume that most of the readers here know what Matsutake look like but if you’re unfamiliar make sure to read up on them and seek an experts identification as they look similar too and grow in the same places where some pretty nasty and possibly deadly Amanitas dwell.
The second night there were lectures by Daniel Winkler and Jonathan Frank followed by some socializing, snacks and an early bedtime for many. Trudging around the woods all day can be tiring, plus we all had to be fresh the next morning for our last chance at finding a few more species to add to the ID table.
Overall it was a fantastic weekend and a fitting way to honor the late Ben Woo. Many species of Russula were found, which for those who don’t know Were Mr. Woo’s mycological focus. His meticulous notes and cataloguing of specimes for the herbarium have been and continue to be of great importance to the understanding of the genus, particularly in the northwest.
A huge and special thanks to James Nowak for chairing this foray. Without his hard work none of this would have been possible. Also, thanks to everyone who volunteered and everyone who attended. It should be noted that all of the Black Diamond staff were wonderful, they were most accommodating and always had smiles on their faces.
This foray was so much fun I hope we can do it again. If we do, I hope to see you there.
Ben Woo All Sound Foray Species List Oct. 21-23 2016
|Albatrellus ovinus grp|
|Clavariadelphus ligula grp.|
|Climacocystis borealis/Oligoporus ptychogaster|
|Coltricia perennis grp|
|Cortinarius anomalus grp|
|Cortinarius cinnamomeus grp|
|Cortinarius croceus grp|
|Cortinarius glaucopus grp|
|Cortinarius montanus grp|
|Cortinarius obtusus grp|
|Cortinarius subpurpureus grp|
|Cortinarius vibratilis grp|
|Entoloma rhodopolium grp|
|Hebeloma sacchariolens grp|
|Heterotextus alpinus grp|
|Hygrophorus piceae/eburneus/Cuphophyllus virgineus|
|Lactarius deliciosus grp|
|Leccinum aurantiacum grp|
|Leptonia gracilipes grp|
|Leucocybe candicans grp|
|Lyophyllum semitale grp|
|Ramaria botrytis grp.|
|Rhodocollybia butyracea grp|
|Russula fragilis grp|
|Russula pelargonia grp|
|Russula rosacea grp|
|Russula turci grp|
|Russula zelleri grp|
|Xerocomellus zelleri grp|