Fungus Debriefing #3

Walking ’round Waptus River for a few days in October

A mishmash of mushrooms grew from the dampened earth, but only a few were of the edible sorts. Saw one gigantic bolete, but so had the worms!

Flushes of amanita muscarina were seen along the way with their vibrant caps adding a toadstool touch to the kaleidoscope of fall color.

Amanita muscarina, viewed from above in the header picture, is an easily identifiable mushroom in the fall forest. In spanish these toxic toadstools are sometimes called “matamoscas” , which loosely translates to “fly killer”.

Mosca is spanish for fly, and originates from the latin musca, from where we get, muscarina.

In English the mushrooms are sometimes called fly amanitas or fly agaric.

The term agaric comes from ancient Greek and refers to a broad group of mushrooms which bear a cap, gills and a stem.

Basically an agaric is what 99% of people would draw if they got mushroom as a Pictionary clue. Close your eyes, think ‘mushroom’. Yep, that one.

…but why the fly?

Seems that in ye olde dayes, the colorful mushrooms were dried and sprinkled into milk which would be left out to spoil. The poisonous curdled concoction would then draw the little moscas in for a drink of doom.

Anyway, that’s a little bit about muscas, moscas y muscarinas… Not that you asked.

Later wandering led to the discovery of some intriguing white mushroom buds erupting from the forest floor in a rather straight line of staggered clumps.

These were collected and later identified as Matsutakes. Bonus!

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11OCT2018

Went for a jaunt around a favorite haunt…

Lot of inedible russulas springing from the duff, some had sprung well before I got there, probably with the recent rains. Now they decayed where they stood.

I got fooled by more than a few big leaf maple leaves that fit the right color and shape of a chantrelle, starkly gold against the shade of the heavy forest canopy. At least from a distance.

Despite the maple’s ruse (I bet that ol’ tree was just laughing it’s mossy wooden ass off!) I managed to pluck a few handfuls of chantrelles from the duff as well as a surprise trio of lobsters.

Got home and threw the whole lot of em into the dehydrator! Destined to be added to backpacking soup!

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