'Shroomin'!

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Paul Roberts
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'Shroomin'!

Post by Paul Roberts »

There are edible mushrooms to find and collect all year round. But there seems to be something of a lull in spring, until things heat up and there is a flush of mushrooms of many types. And they continue well into fall. There are some winter mushrooms as well. The summer flush has come on over the past couple of weeks and I've been wandering the woods and fields in short forays, just covering ground.

There are mushrooms, including edible ones -even "choice" edibles- in all habitat types: Those that devour organic materials in the forest litter, mycorrhizal fungi that affix to tree roots, and wood eaters that specialize on cellulose ("brown rots"), on lignin ("white rots"), and on roots ("root rots"). So, you need to keep your eyes peeled...anywhere and everywhere! There are so many types (edible and not) in such a variety of forms, shapes and colors that 'shrooming in these damp mossy Pennsylvania woods is fascinating, even magical. :bow:

Just had a flush of choice oyster mushrooms appear (same as those you can buy in gourmet markets) to collect and freeze (on trays like you'd freeze berries). Boletes are just starting now too. :D



Last edited by Paul Roberts on Sun Jul 16, 2023 2:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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john elder
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Re: 'Shroomin'!

Post by john elder »

I know i’ve missed a lot not knowing about what basidiomycetes to eat and which ones kill you, but have always left them in the same category as not eating the yellow snow. I have always been an ascomycetes man :-)

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Mike N
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Re: 'Shroomin'!

Post by Mike N »

Those photos made my taste buds water. Mushrooms have always been a big part of the Polish-American food culture in my family. My uncle would take me and my brother mushroom picking as kids and swear us to secrecy regarding the location of his favorite haunts. Morels were highly sought after in our area and the rule was “find one and it will lead to many.” I love oyster mushrooms and in fact had some with a pan fried steak this evening for dinner. My buddy still comes every year to my property to look for Sheepshead mushrooms, also known as Hen of the Woods, on old growth Oak and Maple stumps. These are all such delicious delicacies if cooked correctly. Thanks for posting.
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Midway Tommy D
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Re: 'Shroomin'!

Post by Midway Tommy D »

I'm with you, JE! I only have the intestinal fortitude to devour morels, but I love those suckers, especially fried in butter!
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Re: 'Shroomin'!

Post by Paul Roberts »

Nice pile of morels John! Yum! I didn’t get out for morels this spring. Hopefully next year.

Mike, Polish side of the family here too, although I learned to collect mushrooms on my own. I’ve yet to find Hen of the Woods/maitake. 🤞🏼

As to risks... Positive ID with good research as to possible lookalikes.
Categories:
-choice edible
-edible
-inedible/unpalatable
-toxic/poisonous make you sick
-deadly (few species, but not uncommon to find).

Some examples:

Meadow mushroom (edible): Pink gills (turn dark brown upon maturation).


Destroying Angel (deadly): White gills, residual veil ring on stem


Woodtuft (edible): clear stem


Funeral Bells (deadly): dark veil ring on stem.


Gem-Studded Puffball (edible): White interior


Earthball (toxic): Black interior. Wish they were all this obvious!


Red and Yellow Bolete (edible): Pale yellow interior.


Red Mouth Bolete (toxic): Flushes dark blue immediately upon slicing open.
Last edited by Paul Roberts on Mon Oct 09, 2023 12:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Richard Lodge
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Re: 'Shroomin'!

Post by Richard Lodge »

That is a great primer, Paul. Thank you for posting that information and the photos. I've always been a morel guy because I was so unsure of others, but this is very educational. Thanks!
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Re: 'Shroomin'!

Post by Paul Roberts »

Hi Richard. Thanks. Glad you found the topic interesting. I sure do.

As a cautionary disclaimer: My post should not be used as anything more than, perhaps, inspiration. Research from multiple sources should be used before eating any wild mushrooms.

Despite my research on, say, the Woodtuft mushroom above, I haven’t dared eat them. Too close a lookalike to the Funeral Bell. I’m pretty confident of my ID, but cannot bring myself to make a meal of them. Too many other good mushrooms out there without such close, and deadly,lookalikes.
Last edited by Paul Roberts on Sun Jul 16, 2023 2:17 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 'Shroomin'!

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Just found my first PA Chanterelles! They do have a toxic lookalike, the Jack-O-Lantern Mushroom, but mine checked out, I able to check off the list of identifying characteristics for both types.


Also came upon two bear cubs. I first spotted oldish tracks. And a possible den site beneath an upturned tree on an embankment that my ‘shrooming companion, my Border Collie, showed interest in. A short bit later, she stopped and stared intently, with her hackles up. She did not bark, which surprised me. She was very curious but intimidated by the size of these strange creatures. Perhaps she did not pick up their scent? The two bears were not this years cubs, but I did not know if mom might still be around. So I told the dog to "leave it", and called her away as I departed. I did not snap a photo bc I wanted to vacate the area quickly, making a beeline away so mom could see I was headed away.

I then read that mother bears tend to shoo their 2nd year cubs away when she comes into estrus, in May or June. It is likely that these two cubs are newly on their own. But, like properly IDing mushrooms, better safe than sorry. I'll keep my eyes peeled for them in the coming weeks. I also read that moms are known to avoid her newly abandoned cubs, giving them space. Hmmmm..., I remember doing that with my newly independent son, once upon a time.
Last edited by Paul Roberts on Tue Jul 18, 2023 6:01 am, edited 2 times in total.
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john elder
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Re: 'Shroomin'!

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Well, this is cheating but is fun and keeps those that can’t get into the field in the ‘shroom game… son bought this chanterelle “kit” for his sister on the ‘net… you just add water and stand back!



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Re: 'Shroomin'!

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Very cool, John. My wife loves gardening, esp growing vegetables. But, alas, we now live in a dark forest. So she’s started looking into growing mushrooms.
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These come in that box in soil in a bag, so all you do is spritz them with water after cutting open the top of box and sack. A few days later they start to emerge. You get a couple flushes out if one box. They sell other mushrooms like this, as well, but alas, no morels!
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Re: 'Shroomin'!

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Nifty! Sounds relatively easy to do, at least for some types of mushrooms. I’ve read that one can even use the butts (“roots”) of wild mushrooms, on the proper substrate, to start a culture of mycelium.
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Midway Tommy D
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Re: 'Shroomin'!

Post by Midway Tommy D »

Ther are some that think if you carry your morels in a net type bag you will drop spores along the way that will produce in the future. I think that's a bunch of BS. :D
Love those Open Face Spinning Reels! (Especially ABU & ABU/Zebco)

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!

Post by Mike N »

Paul Roberts wrote: Sat Jul 15, 2023 3:55 pm Just found my first PA Chanterelles! They do have a toxic lookalike, the Jack-O-Lantern Mushroom, but mine checked out, I able to check off the list of identifying characteristics for both types.


Also came upon two bear cubs. I first spotted oldish tracks. And a possible den site beneath an upturned tree on an embankment that my ‘shrooming companion, my Border Collie, showed interest in. A short bit later, she stopped and stared intently, with her hackles up. She did not bark, which surprised me. She was very curious but intimidated by the size of these strange creatures. Perhaps she did not pick up their scent? The two bears were not this years cubs, but I did not know if mom might still be around. So I told the dog to "leave it", and called her away as I departed. I did not snap a photo bc I wanted to vacate the area quickly, making a beeline away so mom could see I was headed away.

I then read that mother bears tend to shoo their 2nd year cubs away when she comes into estrus, in May or June. It is likely that these two cubs are newly on their own. But, like properly IDing mushrooms, better safe than sorry. I'll keep my eyes peeled for them in the coming weeks. I also read that moms are known to avoid her newly abandoned cubs, giving them space. Hmmmm..., I remember doing that with my newly independent son, once upon a time.
Paul- to put it mildly, that was a red-letter outdoor day! So cool to get to appreciate all nature has to offer.

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Re: 'Shroomin'!

Post by Paul Roberts »

Yes! I appreciate every moment out there. There is always something cool to see. But every once in a while we get to see something extra special.

I went back, without the dog, and took a photo from the big maple the bear's were peeking around. A bear's eye view! My dog, Maggie, was peering over the moss covered log in the creek bed below. The bears were not there today but there was a nice bear/raccoon trail along that high creek bank, winding through the understory. And I found another little patch of chanterelles there.
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Re: 'Shroomin'!

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Hemlock swamp! Wonderful place. I could easily conjure up the image of a dinosaur moving through. Great place to find Reishi mushrooms. Guess I need a bigger basket.

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Re: 'Shroomin'!

Post by mark bumgarner »

Spring brings an abundance of simple pleasures. Shroomin with my favorite pickin partners, grandkids Walker and Landyn, is one of the very best.
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Re: 'Shroomin'!

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Treasure hunt! :)
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Re: 'Shroomin'!

Post by Paul Roberts »

Fall 'shroomin'...

Lion's Mane. Delicious!

Bear's Head. Delicious! This one was the largest I've found. Had to weigh 3lbs!

Maitake. Delicious. This was the first I'd found. A small one; They can break 15lbs.

Gem-Studded Puffball. Like other puffballs these have a fairly strong "mushroomy" flavor.

Honey Mushroom: Mild mushroomy flavor. A 'root rot' fungus that comes in bulk.

Resinous Polypore: Tasty! Called "Steak of the Woods", a substantial steak-like texture. Nice with a gravy.
Last edited by Paul Roberts on Thu Nov 09, 2023 7:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 'Shroomin'!

Post by Paul Roberts »

SCORE!:
Oyster Mushrooms my wife and I found, just a short walk out the back door. Some as big as an eating-sized bluegill! Didn't know they got this big!



Late Fall Oysters are up. A ~November 1st event around here. They, in particular, seem to like well-rotted fallen hardwoods close to the ground.

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