Friday, November 20, 2009


I went, the other night, to our local "edumacation" center where a traveling mycologist was giving a talk on our local mycology. He kept talking about the "fun-G" and I kept thinking about my old friend G and how much fun he was until he got married to a Christian woman and had three kids.

"Make sure you look carefully for the vulva," he said matter-of-factly.

"Well alright!" I thought. "I will".

"The presence of a vulva could signify a deadly Amanita, or Death Cap," the lecturer went on. "One mushroom ingested could possibly kill you."

I stopped doodling and sat up in my chair. Maybe mushroom hunting wasn't for me after all...

The rains are here in Oregon, which means that mushrooms pop out everywhere. Here are several species that grew within fifty feet from where I sleep. Some of these were from last year. Three- so far- from this year.

I bought a book called "All That The Rain Promises, And More", and am dead-pressed to identify them all.

Last night I was jogging around the field down by the lake. On my second lap around, I noticed two dudes walking with their heads down carrying sacks and a stick-thing. At first I thought they were on litter patrol, but it made no sense. They weren't "in-trouble" and under the supervision of the law. They weren't old and retired. No. They were two young hippy dudes scratching at leaves under trees as they slumped along...

"What the heck are you guys doing?" I asked.


I then noticed their faces. They had "the look" of mushroomers. Don't ask me to tell you exactly what that look is, but once you see it, you'll know.

"Get any?"

"A few. It's still early. Next week'll be killer, dude. Rain all this week..."

I kept jogging. "I'll keep an eye out for the little guys."


On my lap around, I noticed a patch of small white mushrooms growing in the grass. They were maybe forty feet from me, and growing in an area where the grass had been tamped down by human feet. I was all excited.

"Big patch of small white mushrooms over there," I told the two boys as I passed them on lap two.


I pointed across the field. "Way over there near the baseball backstop."

"Thanks, man! We'll check them out."

I jogged on. As I came up to the big patch of small white mushrooms again, I veered off my usually jogging route just enough to jog right over the top of them.

They were golf tees...

Good Lawd, now I had to either run like heck, or go tell the two boys how foolish the old eyes can be.

"Sorry about that, fellas..."

I jogged on. The night started to creep in. On my final lap, I noticed a rather large and plump mushroom sitting proudly on its own in the grass.

I picked it.

I headed back and got in my truck (rare that I drive down to the lake to jog, but I had a good reason) and as I was leaving, I saw the two mushroom boys getting in their car.

I waved the mushroom at them.

"I got one!" I yelled out into the now darkening night. "And no Volvo!"


Mushy said...

Exciting post...mushrooms?...yes, I loved it. Thanks. However, I didn't learn which not to eat, so I'll just stick to the Green Giant ones!

Jeannie said...

We don't get so many mushrooms around here. We get a fairy ring or two on our lawn during a cool damp summer but I have no clue what sort of mushrooms or toadstools they are.

meno said...

I wish i knew more about mushrooms, but i prefer there to be no mistakes, so i get them at the store.

Nice pictures.

kario said...

My kids both had a teacher in grades 1-3 that was a mushroom expert and they can identify them all - it's amazing. As for eating them, though, I prefer to find mine at the grocery store. I want to trust my kids' expertise but I'm not willing to risk my life to do it.

Your area's got lovely chanterelles and morels, though. YUM!

Sweeti said...

so what did you learn at this seminar with this traveling mycologist? Can you now identify the good from the bad, ...I mean the edible from the toxic?
We have tons of them and I wish I could tell them apart.
We also have acres of fir trees which truffles have been known to thrive on the roots, I wish I was harvesting at $$$ per pound. But have no clue where to start.