May, 2012 Mushroom season is upon us! Morels are now popping up in our Oregon forests and will continue on in to June. King Boletes will follow right behind the morels, with Chanterelles coming on later in the summer. Enjoy a leisurely day in the woods getting to learn about these dilectible fungi and other mushrooms, plants, and trees. We might even get a legal harvest
Morels are among the handsomest of mushrooms, with their convoluted channels intertwining into what appears to be an interestingly spongy knob. Their unique flavor will make one’s eyes open wide with delight. My Morel trips begin in April and continue in to June. We will enter our National forests in the Cascades for our prized quarry. I will show you the distinguishing features of this top prized fungus along with its natural habitat. You will also learn about other fungi in the vicinity, including but not limited to false morels, snowbank morels, orange ferry rings, pig’s ears, puffballs, corals, oysters, and prized boletes, all of which can be seen at times when morels are fruiting. I will also teach you responsible harvest and preparation methods. When mushrooming in the Mt Hood National Forest, we will stop by a Ranger station to obtain necessary permits. Be prepared to dress warm, with layers, including rain gear to keep you dry, a basket or woven grocery bag, and a knife to harvest your mushrooms.
Chanterelles are the bell of the ball, or should I say the bell of the fall? The Yellow chanterelle can be found in Oregon virtually all year round, depending upon the location. It is the state mushroom of Oregon for good reason. They are striking in appearance, most often trumpet shaped, brilliantly yellow in comparison to their surroundings, and often times found in giant groves! They are suited to many different types of cooking methods and are exquisite table fare. My guided trips for Chanterelles run from September in to November, in the Oregon coast range. While searching for them, we might also come across coral mushrooms, russulas, lobsters and angels wings. With some luck we might trip in to a chicken of the woods or even the sought after cauliflower mushroom. Given we will be in the coastal mountains, rain gear is a must as are layers of clothing. Make sure to bring a knife for harvesting along with a basket or woven grocery bag.