Hericium abietis, Mmm, good.
by Brady Raymond
Fall 2017, is this a mushroom season anyone is going to really remember? There are mushrooms to be found and an acceptable diversity, but any real quantity seems to be lacking. Although, quantity is really only important if you are collecting for the pot either for consumption or dyeing. 2017 is probably not the year you would want to start a study on Russulas or Chanterelles. I have only seen a handful of Russulas this year and most were what other folks had collected. As far as Chanterelles are concerned the most I’ve seen in one place was the grocery store and they were selling for $17.98 at one point. I have only found a few handfuls of them myself this year, enough though for Erin to make a few dishes, but none to share.
So, the big question, “Is the season over?” Well, as evident from the above photo, no it is not. There are still mushrooms to be found and as long as the weather stays mild as it has been for the last week or so we may be able to milk this season for a while. I think it’s safe to say that over about 3,000ft. in our area, your chances of finding much of anything are probably limited. The photo below was taken around 2000ft. and the snow line was not far above that.
The snow line was not far above our elevation of 2000ft.
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.
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.