Ben Woo Waterfall 2017 Banner

by Brady Raymond

“Things are looking good” and “Things are good” are two very different statements.  As I stepped out of the car this year at the 2017 Ben Woo Memorial Foray my heart was filled with excitement.  My brain, on the other hand, was much more suspicious of what awaited us in the forests skirting Mt. Rainier this year.

“What’s the scoop?”  I asked Milton who was nearby as I hopped out of the car.

“Not good.”  He replied.

My heart sank a bit, surely there had to be something.  Once all the attendees arrive we’re bound to find mushrooms.  Over a hundred sets of eyes will be searching these woods, zigzagging and crisscrossing each others path.  My heart lifted a bit at the thought, but then froze as a few flakes of snow started to fall.  It’s just not the year I guess, not like last year, at the Ben Woo All Sound Foray.

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Things Are Looking Good?

H.r

Hydnum repandum, the Hedgehog, one of the “toothed fungi.”

by Brady Raymond

So far this fall, things are looking good for the would-be mushroomer trudging around our neck of the woods although “looking” is the operative word.  I can’t say I’ve had much luck with edibles this season but Phaeolus schweinitzii is fruiting very prolifically, at least in the places Erin and I have looked. We’ve found what I estimate to be right around twenty pounds over the last couple weekends, and a single specimen I found last Thursday while out dual sporting on some of my favorite forest service roads.

The edibles I’ve found thus far are limited to four Chanterelles, one Hedgehog, and some “past their prime” Sulfur Shelves.  Overall, the past couple of weekends things have been fairly sparse yet there is a definite progression to the season and each outing we’ve spotted a few more species than the last.  I expect this coming weekend to be spectacular as the temperature drops and precipitation moves in.   The forest itself though seems ripe to burst with bouquets of fungi and is probably doing so as I write this article.

L.s.

Laetiporus conifericola, the Sulfur Shelf or Chicken of the Woods.  The mushroom formerly known as L. sulphureus.  These were quite large, the column was about four feet tall.  These were definitely past their prime.

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