Twenty-ninth Issue, Summer - Winter, 2011
Published about twice a year from Greenville, California
by Herman Brown


Click on any picture to see a larger image


This year has been most unusual. Like this spring season, the summer season seemed to have been delayed and extended by almost a full month.

The fall season started very slow, but as soon as we got some moisture, it picked up.

Besides finding lots of mushrooms usually only found in the spring, we got to spend a full day with David Arora (, the author of Mushrooms Demystified. He had come to Greenville to collect and photograph specimens of the butter boletes found in the area.

The following week, we had a very enjoyable visit from an author from San Francisco, Dan Harder (, who wanted to share with me our common passion for searching for mushrooms.

This year we saw our first Hedgehog mushrooms found near us, the Hydnum repandum and a golden chanterelle, the Cantharellus cascadensis.

And we continued to pick mushrooms until the first day of Winter, after many nights of well below freezing temperatures!

Findings, July 3 -  December 21 (top)

A very happy first-time forager

Sunday, July 3: After finding several of the red-capped butter bolete, Boletus regius, at one of our spots at 4500 ft., I called Loraine Berry to have her meet me at the same spot.

When she arrived, she had a few friends with her, and I proceeded to show them what I had already spotted.

It didn't take long to spot even more, and before they left, they had each had found more than 3 shopping bags full of them.

It was another good day, and everyone seemed to be very happy.

Wednesday. July 6: I went back to the same spot and got lots more, mostly including a few samples for the Arora/Frank butter bolete study.

Sunday, July 10: The boletus mushroom season continues near here at around 5100 ft.

Today I checked a few of my Calvatia sculpta/butter bolete spots, and along the way back, I checked another spot famous for what we are now calling Boletus abieticola, as well as B. rex-veris (spring kings).

I brought back lots of each. 

Besides Calvatia sculpta, I also found a patch of Calbovista subsculpta.

The spring kings I found were much darker than usual, and I had thought they may even be queen boletes (Boletus aereus) as I saw a faint whitish bloom on a few of them.

Debbie says no.

There were still lots of boletus buttons for all the species, mostly in the shadiest spots.

Today I brought back all but a few for some local friends who are either becoming too old to hunt much anymore or are too busy working, as well as picked some to dry for Jonathan Frank in OR, who, along with David Arora, is doing research on certain butter boletes.

I am looking forward to seeing their findings.

Monday, July 11: Yes, I think this has been the strangest year since we have lived up here.

Actually, my first year hunting was very similar: mush1.htm

Chris Albion said he found one yellow morel, Morchella crassipes, up here recently, at our 5100 ft. spot.

It has been the first year to see so many species at the same time of the year, almost side by side: black morels, yellow morels, Boletus rex-veris, B. abieticola, B. regius, B. calopus, B. rubripes, Sarcosphaera crassa, Calvatia sculpta, and Calbovista subsculpta.

Most are were found the cool shade.

Tuesday, July 12: Today we went back up to some of our mushroom spots at 5100 ft. The first stop was to just look at and admire the large Calvatia sculpta puffball patch.

Then we mainly just drove along the roads spotting and picking boletes.

We saw many, but mainly picked the Boletus rex-veris, the spring king, and a few of the Boletus abieticola butter boletes. Most of those I will dry and send to the David Arora and Jonathan Frank, as these fit the description very good.

We also saw many bitter Boletus rubripes, and lots of what I think are Amanita aprica.

David at work

David photographing the 
Hygrophorus caeruleus

© David Arora, 2011
At the Calvatia spot
(Picture by permission, ©David Arora)

Boletus abieticola
found while with Dan Harder

Monday, July 25: The spring/summer mushroom season continues. I am still finding young spring kings at 5100 ft., and the latest I have found them before at that elevation was on a June 24, 2008.

Today, we had a pleasant visit from David Arora, the author of two of our mushrooms books, because he wanted to photograph and collect some samples of the butter boletes that we have been finding at 4500 and 5100 ft.

The visit was a result of the pictures I had sent him earlier on June 30, plus I had sent dried samples of some Boletus regius and abieticola to Jonathon Frank of the University of Oregon in Ashland, the butter boletes that I had found at 4400 ft.

It all started after I had sent some pictures to Dimitar Bojantchev, and he suggested I contact David and Jonathan for their butter bolete study. 

So we eventually picked today the visit.

I had rechecked some spots two days before, at 5100 ft., and at that time I had picked a few fresh Spring King Boletes and saw lots of the B, abieticola.

When we arrived, many Boletus abieticola butter boletes were found, photographed, and collected, as well as a few Boletus calopus and Boletus rubripes, the bitter boletes. 

David also collected a few of Amanita aprica and a few puffballs.

I also found a pair of the beautiful blue Hygrophorus caeruleus.

My close-up HERE.

I showed David one of our Calvatia Sculpta puffball spots, and David said he had never seen them in such quantity. 

He took several pictures of those too. 

In short, it was very a productive day, and I learned a new species, how to pronounce a few names. plus got several tips on taking pictures in the field.

On the right are two of the pictures that were taken. The first one is David taking a picture of the blue Hygrophorus, and the second a picture David took with me in back of some of the Calvatia sculpta.

I had not seen David since around 1983, at a LAMS (Los Angeles Mycological Society) Mushroom Fair lecture, so it was a great day for me.

The next day, on the 26th, I returned to the same area to collect mushrooms just for the table, and I found two small Spring Kings and more of the B. abieticola, which in a recent family taste test, was preferred over the Spring Kings.

Sunday, August 1: Exactly week after our visit from David, we received a call from Dan Harder, a writer from the Bay Area, who said he loved my Fungi-zette web site and wanted to come up for a visit.

In short, he came and we spent a very pleasant two days with him. It turned out our paths had crossed more than once throughout the years and we had lots in common.

I took him to the same spots that I had taken David, and we saw many of the same species. Dan took a few of the Boletus abieticola home with him.

We expect to see Dan again, as he said loved our area.

Another great day in the woods, and we even found some mushrooms!

Saturday, August 20: I just returned from going to most of my "old faithful" white chanterelle spots, but only found two tiny ones, firm but moist and white.

I also saw several Rhizopogons, two wormy all-white Gastroboletes, some wormy Russulas, and one large grissette.

I plan to return either in a few weeks or a month.

Saturday, August 27: Because we have been so busy lately with other projects, we have had little time to go out into the forest to look for mushrooms.

However, today we went out to a few of our white chanterelle spots to see if more had appeared since last week, when I had only found a few tiny ones.

The numbers and sizes had increased slightly, and we also found more of the various-colored Rhizopogons and a fresh white Gastroboletus subalpinus.

This time I gave the edible portion of today's catch to a friend who lived near the area. She said she was going to add them to a spaghetti sauce tonight.

The edible portion included all the small white chanterelles and the Gastroboletus, which I find to be mildly sweet tasting.

So the season continues, despite the very dry conditions.

Friday, September 2: On Friday, we took a trip up to Lassen Park to see how much snow was left.

There was not much snow around, but it was much cooler up there than in town.

The first hike was at Kings Creek, where we saw some bears walking around the area, but they all seemed to be much too busy rummaging around the plants to notice us. 

There was still lots of wildflowers left, but I was too concerned about keeping tract of the bears, to take many pictures.

Then we went down to Summit Lake at around 6900 ft. and found a few Boletus abieticola that seemed to be more yellow-fleshed than those we found earlier at 5100 ft. We also found one small Lentinus ponderosus.

Friday and Saturday, September 9 and 10: We had another great visit this week, this time with our two new friends from Redding, Ken and Kyoung Ruiz, taking them out for some successful hunts for mushrooms.

On Wednesday we had received a call from Ken, who had heard about us from Debbie Viess, and she had told them that we had had some experiences with using mushrooms for medicinal purposes.

Ken said they also wanted to learn more about picking wild mushrooms, besides sharing our experiences using mushrooms for health reasons.

So we set up a date for Friday and Saturday.

On Friday morning, I decided to take them to one of our local white chanterelle spots, where we all did quite well.

I was pleasantly surprised at how the size and quantity had increased since my last visit to the area.

We also found several different Rhizopogons, including the red R. vinicolor, and some of the all-white Gastroboletus subalpinus.

We cooked some of the chanterelles for dinner.

Later that evening, we compared both herbal and mushroom remedies for various ailments. 

So we learned about many new teas for us to try for lowering blood pressure, getting to sleep easier, helping to prevent heartburn, etc.

The next day, I wanted to take them to Yuba Pass to see if we could at least find some of the varnished conk, the Ganoderma oregonense.

On the way up the pass, we stopped at Chapman Creek Campground, where we found one Suillus tomentosus, some of the blackening Russula albonigra, several Russula sp., and one small Ganoderma.

But at the top of the pass, we began to see a lot more.

These included a giant-sized red-pored bolete, several Rhizopogons, a pair of fuzzy truffles; the Geopora cooperii, some of the reddish butter boletes, the eminently edible Boletus abieticola, some of the bitter Boletus rubripes, an areolate-capped, small pored Boletus sp., some of the bluing Gastroboletus turbinatus, several Gastroboletus subalpinus, some of the greenish Russula aeruginea, more Russula sp. and R. albonigra, various Fomitopsis, various small, un-fresh puffballs, many limp Amanita aprica, and several larger Ganoderma oregonense. 

It began to sprinkle and we were getting pretty hungry by then, so we went back down the hill for a late but pleasant lunch in Bassetts.

It was a great and memorable two days, partly because of the mushrooms we did find, but mostly because of the pleasant company.

Tuesday, September 13:  While out looking for white chanterelles today, I spotted an unusual-looking mushroom that I first though may be a stalked puffball. After opening the mushroom and seeing all the loose black spores, I figured I was correct in my assumption. 

However, when I got home and after I shook out most of the loose spores, I found crude gills, and then it more fit the description of a Mountain Gastroid Agaricus, or Endoptychum depressum. I sent the sample to Debbie Viess for a positive confirmation.

She agreed with my ID.

Endoptychum depressum
Endoptychum depressum
Endoptychum depressum
Endoptychum depressum, open

Thursday, September 15:  Today we returned to an area around 6000 ft; to see if more King Boletes were out yet.

We did find one very small one, but it was already too wormy for the table.

Probably too warm for it.

So we went along a trail that parallels a creek and saw lots more species than the last time. These included some green Russulas, young Ganoderma oregonense, several ground inhabiting honey mushrooms, lots of other different colored Russulas, some colorful large-pored Suillus umbonatus, a few shaggy-stalked tiny purple mushrooms, a possible Gastroboletus suilliodes, and a few unidentified, bright red-pored, gastroboletes. Most all of the pictures can be seen here 16 photos).

Some wild flowers were out too, with the now familiar blue Monks Hood showing in all their glory.

Sunday, September 25:  We continue almost daily to bring home a few pounds of white chanterelles.

Today was no exception.

On the way to one of the spots, I noticed a few large mounds of what appeared to be a fungal masses.

I think these may have been clusters of Albatrellus ovinus.

After continuing on my journey, I found large groups of fairly large chanterelles .

Always fun to find.

Albatrellus ovinus?
One nice group of upturned chanterelles

Monday, September 26:  Today, I found another nice batch of white chanterelles, and when I got home, we both spent a few hours cleaning them.

Not quite as fun as finding them!

Big pile of them (2-days worth)!


Two huge ones found by friends

Thursday, September 29:  Tonight a pair of friends brought by what looked like the biggest white chanterelles I have seen this year (see above).

I hope the trend continues.

Boletus pulcherrimus?

Saturday, October 8: Today I decided to go to another 400 ft/ spot to check for chanterelles.

At a spot where I usually find a few every year, this time I only found one, but it was a good size.

On the way back to the truck, I spotted a much too old red-pored boletus, and eventually found a small, fresh one.

Not sure what it was, but it probably was a Boletus pulcherrimus.

Closer to home, at my usually prolific Shaggy Mane spot, I only found 4 large ones, but with enough while flesh left for dinner.

Sunday, October 9: Cecelia and I went to a spot about 6000 ft. and after wandering for a few hours, we finally found a nice supply of Boletus edulis, the famed King Bolete.

These ranged in size from tiny buttons to giants. Many had worms, including the small buttons, but I was still able to fill a large frying pan and several drier trays.

Besides the edulis, we saw a large Chroogomphus (pine spike), a few Pluteus cervinus (deer mushrooms, which I cooked for breakfast), a small Ganoderma oregonense, lots of the dyer’s polypore, the Phaeolus schweinitzii, some Amanita muscaria, some bright orange Ramaria, and others. 

Most of the pictures can be seen at images_2011/100911.

Nice to see the fall mushrooms coming out.

Tuesday, October 11: Today I went back to a 4500 ft. spot where I had previously found some small edulis, bringing a large bowl of edulis pore tubes and wormy parts left over from the last adventure. 

I wanted to scatter the remains over the area, in hopes for the future.

After I did that, I just had to check to see how the white chanterelles had done since my last visit.
On the way back to the dirt access road, I spotted a few of what looked like “Strawberries and Cream”, or Hydnellum peckii, but less the “strawberries”.

I had only seen them a few times before, but that was my first guess.

Soon I found a solitary Gomphidius glutinosus, as slimy as it sounds, plus a few still fresh Amanita vaginata, and a few all-white Amanitas. Lots of Russula brevipes still around too.

I also spotted a few groups of the rough-capped Suillus caerulescens

As I poked around, I found some scattered chanterelles and, under the shelter of a log, I discovered more Hydnellum peckii, but this time with those dramatic red droplets. 

I plan to return to the same spot later this week for some pictures.

Then I hit the jackpot. At the base of a large fir, I saw some touches of white with several white chanterelles just below the ground.

All around the tree I kept finding more and more, and soon filled my basket to the point of almost being too heavy to carry.

Unfortunately, I had very soon stopped cleaning them and just began scooping them, dirt and all, into the basket.

As a result, I will probably be busy cleaning them for a few days!

But I expect I will return again before the next rain, which may be this Friday. 

Besides, I need to photograph those Hydnellum with the beautiful red droplets.

"Strawberries and Cream"
Hydnellum peckii

Thursday, October 13: We just went out this morning to take pictures of the Strawberries and Cream mushrooms. 

I couldn’t find the ones I had seen earlier, but we found other ones to photograph anyway. They seem to be fairly abundant in that area.

On the way to a bolete spot, I just HAD TO PICK the chanterelles that appeared in front of us.

However, this time I was more selective and cleaned them as I picked.

We only found two small Queen Boletes, but also saw a few small Boletus zelleri, a Tricholoma saponaceum, maybe some Russula xerampelina (Shrimp Russulas), several tan Ramarias, and a few bright yellow Russulas.

It was a fun and interesting walk. More species appearing each time we go out.

The white blobs that I had noticed when Chris Albion was last with me, all turned out to be Strawberries and Cream mushrooms.

Saturday, October 15: Today we went to a foray organized by the Bay Area Mycological Society, at Yuba Pass, and we all agreed that this was the most fall mushrooms we have ever found in that area.

It was great to be with old friends again, and to meet some new ones. One new acquaintance was Leon Shernoff, the editor of Mushroom the Journal. We got to chat with him a bit and even have him join us on a few of our jaunts further above the pass.

This year there was several surprises. Notably for me, was seeing a Hydnum repandum, the delicious hedgehog mushroom, picked by Richard Lyons, a first time I have ever seen one in the Sierra. I also found a bunch of the fairly rare but beautiful Hygrophorus speciosus and a solitary Boletopsis subsquamosus (now called Boletopsis leucomelaena), both firsts for me in that area.

We also picked some Suillus we had never seen before, with the help of our friend, Gigi Stahl.

The few pictures I took are at images_2011/101511

Many of Hugh Smith's pictures are here:

Species List, Yuba Pass and Surrounding Sierra Areas. October 14-16, 2011, from Debbie Viess:

  1. Albatrellus pescesse (great green fruit bodies)
  2. Amanita aprica
  3. Amanita muscaria
  4. Amanita pantherina group
  5. Arcangeliella crassa (secotioid Lactarius)
  6. Armillaria sinapina (honey mushroom)
  7. Bjerkandera sp. just a convoluted black layer on wood; no pores (yet?)
  8. Boletopsis leucomelaena 
  9. Boletus edulis 
  10. Boletus chrysenteron sensu California
  11. Boletus zelleri
  12. Calocera viscosa forking ones, one yellow, one orange
  13. Calopodes sp.
  14. Cantharellus subalbidus
  15. Chroogomphus sp.
  16. Chalciporus piperatus (Peppery bolete)
  17. Chrysomphalina aurantia
  18. Coprinus comatus (Shaggy Mane)
  19. Cortinarius sp.(5)
  20. Cortinarius sp. (with deep blue cap and gills, dark brown stem)
  21. Cryptoporus volvatus
  22. Dasyscyphus bicolor
  23. Entoloma sp.
  24. Galerina sp.
  25. Ganoderma tsugae
  26. Gastroboletus subalpinus (gastroid Boletus edulis relative)
  27. Gomphus floccosus (Scaly Chanterelle)
  28. Guepinia helvelloides (Apricot Jelly)
  29. Gymnopilus spectabilis
  30. Gymnopus acervatus (clustered and similar to Mycena haematopus)
  31. Gymnopus sp.
  32. Gyromitra infula
  33. Helvella compressa
  34. Helvella lacunosa (Elfin Saddle)
  35. Hemimycena sp.
  36. Heterotextus alpinus (Alpine Gumdrops)
  37. Hydnum repandum (Hedgehog)
  38. Hygrophorus chrysodon
  39. Hygrophorus hypothejus
  40. Hygrophorus purpurescens
  41. Hygrophorus speciosus
  42. Hypholoma capnoides
  43. Hypholoma fasciculare (Sulphur Tuft)
  44. Hypomyces cervinigenus on Helvella lacunosa
  45. Inocybe sp. (5)
  46. Lactarius deliciosus group
  47. Lactarius glutigriseus: first collection!!!
  48. Lentinellus montanus
  49. Mycena adonis (pink and purdy)
  50. Mycena alcaliniformis (frosted gray cap, brown underneath, fuzzy stipe base, chlorine odor)
  51. Mycena sp.? tiny, clustered on wood, brown cap, white center
  52. Phaeolus schweinitzii
  53. Pholiota aurivella (spectacular fruitings!!!)
  54. Pholiota highlandensis
  55. Pholiota sp. little ones that looked like a cluster of honeys, but orange gills and fibrillose veil
  56. Pholiota sp. cluster of somewhat large (may just be older, actually); looks like the cap might have been a little viscid, no scales; two-toned brown but lighter than Galerina
  57. Phycomyces sp. more prolific cottony mycelium with big spore spikes (~1cm)
  58. Pluteus cervinus
  59. Polyporus brumalis?
  60. Polyporus elegans
  61. Ramaria sp. Orange
  62. Ramaria sp. White, thick base and branches, little fringe of spikes (like botrytis)
  63. Resupinatus applicatus
  64. Rhizopogon sp.
  65. Rhytisma sp.
  66. Rozites caperata
  67. Russula albonigra
  68. Russula aeruginea
  69. Russula brevipes brevipes
  70. Russula brevipes var. acrior
  71. Russula compacta
  72. Russula xerampelina
  73. Strobilurus albipilatus
  74. Strobilurus trullisatus
  75. Suillus brevipes
  76. Suillus subcaerulescens
  77. Suillus tomentosus
  78. Suillus umbonatus
  79. Trichaptum abietinum
  80. Tricholoma saponaceum
  81. Xeromphalina campanella
  82. Xeromphalina cauticinalis
  83. Zygomycetes sp. small blackened agaric with cottony fuzz and small (~2mm) white spore spikes

Sunday, October 16: Today, while walking to check some of my chanterelle spots at 4500 ft, a friend stopped by in his jeep to take me to a spot where had seen some unusual mushrooms. The first was the same clump of Albatrellus that I had found earlier, the second was a young Phaeolus schweinitzii, the first I had ever seen in the white stage and the third was a patch of white chanterelles. From there, I continued on my own search, picking another few pounds of them.

Monday, October 17: A young friend brought over three sacks of mushrooms for me to try to ID today. One sack included a gorgeous clump of Hydnum repandum. The rest were Suillus, Amanita vaginata, and Ramaria. 

I told him the only ones worth cooking were the Hydnum repandum.

So now I know they are in our area!

Wednesday, October 19: Today I only  picked a few pounds more of the white chanterelles plus a few shrimp Russulas and one small queen bolete.

However, I helped a  friend ID some shaggy manes and then fill a small box with them for his supper. I included a few Lactarius deliciosus for him to try.

I had picked a bunch of Marasmius oreades earlier today, and tonight we had a delicious soup made from them.

It IS the best tasting soup ever!

Tuesday, October 18: We went to a 5000 ft, spot, but only found some Boletus calopus and two red-pored boletes, probably another Boletus pulcherrimus.

The fall colors were beautiful though.

Thursday, October 20: Today we decided to hunt closer to home, checking our local boletus spots, but were discouraged because we saw no mushrooms at all at first. Continuing to another spot where we had in the past found white chanterelles, we realized that the spot would be hard to find because of the aggressive tree thinning had made the whole area unrecognizable.

When we finally found the spot, we looked down and found several of them, placing them in Cecelia's sweatshirt "bag". As we continued back towards the the car, we spotted a medium-sized Boletus aereus, and very close by, several smaller ones.

If the snow doesn't fall soon, this area should be a-jumpin'.

Friday, October 21: Today we drove to one of our spots at 6000 ft, in hope the Boletus edulis were out in force.

The first spot we saw little to encourage us to continue, but very close by, we found a few B. edulis, one being pretty large, but fresh and worm-free.

We then continued to the next spot, but soon noticed several cut and discarded mushrooms, so most all we found were B. calopus.

On the way towards home, we saw some over-the hill ones, and at a creek crossing, we found several.

We continued to scout the area, finding a few large ones, but most being too old for the table or drier. The larger ones were found in am area we had never scouted before.

We did see lots of other mushrooms in the trip however. These included the beautiful purple Laccaria amesthystina, several Shrimp Russulas, a few Boletus zelleri, a few colorful Dermocybe (Cortinarius often used for dyes) and some very large, apparently ground-dwelling Deer Mushrooms.

Sunday, October 23: From a tip I received from a friend in Taylorsville, who said there were “lots of red mushrooms” at the Snake Lake Campground west of Quincy, we decided to go and check out the area, especially after we found it was a better road than we thought and a 2.5 miles distance instead of 25.

There were several mushrooms at the campground, mostly Shrimp Russulas of various colors, but we had noticed many more along the side of the road as we came it.

So we went back towards the main road, stopping at a few spots along the side road to take pictures and collect samples.

We found LOTS of many-colored Russula xerampelina, lots of white, yellow, and green Russula, lots of Lactarius with dark red latex, some rosy-red Gomphidius, many Tricholoma, Suillus of various sizes, a few white chanterelles, two types of puffballs with short stalks, some bright yellow Ramaria, and a beautiful but small Leptiota.

The Lactarius puzzled me because they all looked like the edible Lactarius rubrilacteus to me, but seemed to bruise purple after being in the basket.

I had planned to give them to friends, but decided not.

The pictures can all be seen at images_2011/102311

It was another great day.

Monday, October 24:  Today we took a short trip to a local spot to look for queen boletes. We looked pretty carefully, but only found one small one, which we left this time.

Then we went to another local spot to check for white chanterelles.  Here we did much better, picking a couple of pounds.  On the way back to the car, taking the long way back, we found a nice-sized queen bolete and picked it for the table. 

I guess we just need to wait a bit longer for the "big flush".

Friday, October 28: Today a friend dropped by on her way home to show me some mushrooms she picked in Reno. She was sure these were the same mushrooms she and her family had picked for years and had called "sand mushrooms".

Before she arrived, I had checked online by searching for "sand mushrooms" and had come up with Tricholoma populinum, or Poplar Mushroom. It seemed to fit her description pretty good.

When she showed them to me, I went through the Demystified key with her, and we arrived at the T. populinum. She said she had actually found them under Cottonwoods, and in the description, it also referred to them as "Cottonwood Mushrooms".

 I had her taste and smell it, and she said it tasted and smelled just as she remembered.

Another new species for me.

Sunday, October 29: Today I went out with Chris Albion, to check for queen boletes and white chanterelles.

We did good on bit accounts. We found lots of both.

In our walking, we also  saw thousands of shrimp Russulas, but saved the room instead for the mushrooms for which we came.

A royal batch


Pholiota squarrosa
A scaly clump

I went back to a spot so I could take pictures of some Pholiota squarrosa, the scaly Pholiota, that I had seen earlier. 

A very Happy Fellow

We also saw lots of Lactarius rubrilacteus, some slimy, black-capped Lactarius, Amanita vaginata, the white, shaggy Amanita silvicola (?), Entoloma sp., and lots of Suillus ponderosus and S. sp.

More pictures at images_2011/102911/.

I also took a picture of the biggest white chanterelle for the day.

Monday October 30:   Went with Cecelia late today to recheck the spot where a hedgehog was picked recently, but did not find any. On the way back we saw a batch of shaggy manes and picked a few.

Further down the road I recognized a truck, found the owner, and he showed me some Boletus regius he had just picked, along with some Clavariadelpus truncatus. I tasted a tiny one and it was pleasant tasting, with a lingering pleasant taste in my mouth.

We continued down the road toward the lake and we soon picked a few pounds of chanterelles. Walking along the side of the main road, I saw the biggest Gomphidius I have even seen, about 10 inches in diameter.

If it doesn’t snow, and it does not get too much colder, the season just may continue!

Wednesday, November 2: On Tuesday, a friend stopped by to have me confirm an ID. He showed me a very large chanterelle and wanted to make sure what it was.

At first I thought it was a white chanterelle, but when we went out into the sunlight, I saw it was more golden than white.

He then told me where he found it, and on Wednesday, following his directions, we found and picked 6 of them.

We searched around the area for more signs, but the presence of so may golden maple leaves, helped us to decide we had plenty for dinner.

There were lots of other mushrooms around, but we only had golden chanterelles on our list.

We enjoyed them cooked last night with turkey breasts.

I had noticed that where we picked them were some cedar, maple, sugar pine, and other conifers, but I did not identify them. Too busy looking down.

So I asked my friend later, and he said the most predominate trees were Doug Fir.

Cantharellus cascadensis
Cantharellus cascadensis


Cantharellus cascadensis
Two more in the field

I then decided the chanterelles fit the PNW key for Cantharellus cascadensis.

A very pleasant way to end the season! - Herman

Sunday and Monday, November 7 and 8: The saga continues!

On Sunday, because the snow had melted down here, Loraine came over to see if we could find any white chanterelles or queen boletes at 3600 ft.

We didn’t find any chanterelles, but did find a few queen boletes. 

We did a lot of walking, and most of what we found were pretty small, but we did find a few suitable for the table.

Nice day to walk in the woods.

On Monday, Cecelia and I went up to a 4500 ft. spot to scout the area for a possible visit from Loraine.

There was still about 1-2” of snow on the ground, but Cecelia and I decided to walk anyway, just in case there was some spots clear of snow.

The closer we got to the spot, the deeper the snow seemed to get, but we saw some fresh truck tracks going into the forest and decided it would be easiest to follow them.

Soon we saw some clearer spots, and in one, we picked several good-sized white chanterelles, enough to call it a day.

Below is a picture of Cecelia with a small basket full and one of the chanterelles at home. They were in much better shape than I expected.


Loraine says she plans to come down tomorrow, and hopefully there will be more clear spots in the forest.
Tuesday, November 8: Today we took both Robert and Loraine with us to the same chanterelle spot, to see if there were more snow-free areas.

3/4 of the group

It seemed a bit better, but it had been very cold the night before, so I had no idea what to expect.

We actually found more chanterelles, mostly at the same spot Cecelia and I picked them the day before.

Wednesday and Thursday, November 9 and 10: On Wednesday, I met up with our new friend, Russell Marsan,  and went to his home to look for mushrooms around his area.

In short, we saw several species, including some Pisolithus tinctorius in his yard and lots of the Lactarius rubrilacteus with its red-latex, right across the street from his house.

There we saw lots of Gomphidius glutinosus and some of the beautiful, pink-capped G. subroseus, a few very large pine spikes, pink-tinged Hygrophorus purpurascens, and of course, LOTS of Russulas.

The next day, I had him come to our house, and from there we went to a few of our spots.

Close to town, we found several Boletus aereus (Queen boletes), mostly pretty small. Then I took him up to 4500 ft., and we did quite well in spite of the snow still on the ground..

There we found LOTS of white chanterelles on the way to “the spot”.

Cantharellus cascadensis?
Note the deep folds

At the spot, right out of the car, he found two golden chanterelles, the first I have ever seen in that area.

I am still not positive of the ID, but I think they were found right near a very large Doug Fir, so it probably is the Cantharellus cascadensis. 

After the recent finds of them, thought we might find some up there.

We cooked one that evening. Much softer than the whites, but just as tasty.

He continued to wander in places I had rarely checked, and he found lots of the larger Queen Boletes and more white chanterelles.

I will never stop a wandered again!

We also collected a few of the many Russula xerampelina (Shrimp Russulas) we saw along the way.

We noticed some of the colorful Hygrophorus pudorinus, in the same spot that I usually find them, and LOTS of Cortinarius sp. everywhere we looked.

Weather permitting, it appears that the season is NOT quite over yet.

Monday, November 14: This afternoon, Cecelia and I returned to our 4500 ft. chanterelle spot, to see what we could see.

The good news was that we only saw a few tiny patches of snow left on the ground.

However, the melted snow resulted in most of the chanterelles being pretty soggy.

We were a little late getting started, so we didn’t look very hard, but in one new patch we found enough chanterelles for the basket.

Plus they are much heavier when soggy.

We did NOT notice any queen boletes.

Did see lots of other frozen and/or decaying mushrooms though.

Tonight Cecelia made a delicious cream of mushroom soup with fresh chanterelles, shaggy manes, and a few queens.

Thursday may be our last day to forage unless we get another “warm spell”, so weather permitting, we may use that day for our last foray and look mainly for queens.

Thursday, November 17: Thinking this might be our last chance for a walk in the woods, we went to a local spot today and found a few Queens.

A pair of tiny ones I left behind a few days ago, were still tiny.

I guess what we picked today were the ones I missed then.

Wednesday, November 23: I picked 3 young shrimp Russulas today (along with 2 queen boletes) and had them with scrambled eggs the next morning.

Great taste and texture!

The queens are going into the drier.

Too many of them cooked already!

Looks like we may have mild weather for a few days.

Tuesday, December 6: While we were out selecting our Xmas tree today, I picked some frozen white chanterelles.

I did not have my basket with me and we were carrying the tree, so I left them behind. It will probably drop below 15 F tonight.

Lots of Russula xerampelina still out there too.

Been a very different year!

Wednesday, December 21: In spite of the 13 degree temperatures at night, today I went out with our new friend Russell Marsan, to see if we could find any frozen chanterelles.  I didn't really expect to see anything fresh because of the temperatures in the teens at night for the last several days

Before we got to the colder spot, we actually found one unfrozen white chanterelle and some nice Shrimp Russulas.  

But when we continued to the spot where I expected to find some decent frozen ones, they were all in terrible shape.

The night before, Russell brought over a pair of very special tree ornaments he had made for us. 

Mine says "King Herman" (a King Boletus) and Cecelia's says "Queen Cecelia" (a Queen Boletus).


Choosing and using a dehydrator (from Steven Pencall) (top)

I live in Southern California and have been drying and preserving mushrooms for 25 years.

We have used a food dehydrator for years to dry a variety of things, including mushrooms. I would look for multiple trays - at least five or six - AND it really, really has to have a fan. Relying on convection (rising warm air) alone slows drying time and risks significant spoilage of items being dried. The faster drying time of forced air units is much appreciated when you have a surfeit of items to dry - like when you hit a bolete bonanza. 

An air filter seems unnecessary unless you anticipate using the unit in a dusty environment. The same with a multiplicity of heat settings that you see on some of the higher end units. More complex systems are more prone to fail - something to remember if you pack the unit for an extended trip.

As the items dry, sort through them and move the driest of them to the trays closest to the heat source where they will be exposed to the driest air. This is counter-intuitive to some people, but really harkens back to high school chemistry where you learned that the vapor pressure of a solution falls as the solution (in this case the liquid in the item being dried) becomes progressively more concentrated. The lower vapor pressure means that more heat is required to evaporate each additional increment of moisture.

You want your mushrooms or anything else you dry to be really dry - crispy. If not, they WILL spoil. And when your drying is done, long term storage should be in glass jars or heavy duty plastic containers. Plastic bags are easily penetrated by weevils and other beasties who will turn your treasure into dust.

One more thing. Dryer trays should be made out of sturdy washable plastic or DETACHABLE metal screens. A lot of plans for home made dryers on the Internet are for wooden trays with metal screens that DO NOT detach from the frame. As you can imagine, food particles or mushroom spores adhere to the screen and if not washed regularly--ideally after each use--the buildup on the screen becomes quite disgusting.

 - Steven Pencall

Featured Mushroom, the Hydnellum peckii, Strawberries and Cream (top)

This mushroom was found in pretty large numbers this year. It is one of the most striking mushrooms too observe, especially when it has its red droplets showing.

I like to think of it as a slime mold with determination.

According to what I could found on the Internet, the red droplets are formed when moisture condenses on the mushroom, and the red color comes from a contained pigment named atromentin.

More information and images at Wickipedia: