Thursday, October 11, 2018

Mushroom Hunting

Mushroom hunting has interested me ever since I spotted a smurf's like, little, red, rounded mushroom in the park! Add a ring of mushrooms on our lawn and a giant puffball .... that's all it took. One of the very first posts I ever did on this blog was about the giant puffball! Little did we know, we could've delighted in some fun and unusual cuisine.

For starters, there are some basics everyone should know.  Hence, the parts of a mushroom from top to bottom. They are the cap, gills, ring, stem, & volva (the sac it emerged out of if visible).

Next, let's say you find an awesome mushroom and aren't too sure if it's edible. Create a spore print for proper identification! All you have to do is remove the cap from the stem. Get a white sheet of paper. Place the gills part against the paper. Do not press. Place a drop or a couple of drops of water on the cap depending on its size. Cover it with a glass. You can leave it covered 3-18 hours. When you remove the cap, the spore print will be left on your paper and can last about a year.  Grab a handy manual much like the one pictured above and you'll be able to identify the little guy in no time!

Now, the hubs and I really enjoy our long walks in the woods. This particular day, we decided to veer off the trail and see what we could find!

Check out some of the amazing mushrooms popping about!

I call this one The Fairy Steps. They were huge!

A little family of mushrooms growing out of decomposing wood.

A pretty neat thing we noticed is that the mushrooms were mostly growing where there were bursts of sunlight through the trees.

Just an fyi... no, we didn't end up harvesting any mushrooms for food. Foraging is fun, but I definitely ONLY stick to those things I'm sure are edible. But I will say... after reading the guide, I'm blown away by how many mushrooms were once thought to be edible and are now considered toxic. Simply astonishing!

Happy Trails to finding fungus!