Mushrooming Log

1/1  Sunny day with a temperature of 44.  Explored an old park in Shrewsbury.  It looks like a promising place for mushrooms.  On top of the hill I found a grove of about 80 American Elm.  Most of them dead or dying some look healthy.  There are some White, Red, Scots and Pitch Pine.  Also Spruce and Fir.  Also good sized Wild Cherry and Ash.  In other words a good place to find Morel, come Spring, and then King Bolete later in the year.  It is not far from where I live, so I will be checking out the place on regular basis.

4/4    Found the first edible mushroom of the year.  I submitted it to the BMC experts and they have identified it as Velvet Foot.  Not enough worth picking but it is a start.

4/26   Found Dryad's Saddle Polypores sprouting on a dead Elm tree in Bolton.

4/29  Found three False Morel growing under a rotted apple tree stump in Northboro.

4/30  Found Dryad's Saddle Polypore sprouting on dead elm in Shrewsbury.

5/1   Found a semi live apple tree with about 40 small Yellow Morel growing underneath, on my secret site, North East of Worcester.  Harvested 12, left the rest to grow up.

5/3  Knowing I have competitors on the site, went back and harvested 24 more Morel.  Scroll down to 5/3 on this page to see a group of five.

5/6  My competition is not on the ball!  Went to the same apple tree and found 13 more!  These were hiding in the brush and I must have missed them last time.  They are more mature, and one was 5" high!  Scroll down to 5/6 on this page to see a group of three.

5/14  I went to my secret spot and found one Yellow Morel and a stump of another left by a squirrel.  Before that I led EFG on a morel hunt in Harvard.  The group found a total of 15 Yellow Morel.

5/19  Explored some conservation land in Grafton.  Many dead and dieing apple trees.  Did not find morel but found two apple trees with Veined Cups growing around them.  Also found a dead aspen with Oysters popping out.

5/20  Trip to the Berkshires.  About a quart of Veined Cups.  A lot of Dryads.

5/21  Oysters at Westboro WMA .  On two live Aspen.  This is the first time I found them on a live tree.  Enough for a fry.  Saw Mica Caps by an Elm.

5/23 Oysters on one dead Aspen in Grafton.

5/27    Oysters and Morels in Grafton.  Jerry spotted most of them.

5/28  A lot of mushrooms growing on mulch at the Mass. Electric property in Westboro.  They are small but a lot of them.  They look a bit like Honey Mushroom but the gills are light brown.  Will try to get spore print and ID.  At Sawink Farm, found Tree Ear and Oysters too far up a tree to reach.  Will go back another day with a telescoping pole.  At Westboro WMA found another Aspen with Oysters up too high to reach.  Later.

5/29  Today I visited Acton, Harvard and Bolton.  Apple trees, White Ash, and Elm had no Morel under them.  I would say that the Morel season is over in Massachusetts.  The only thing that was plentiful was Dryad's Saddle at Bolton Lime.  I did find one Morel, beside the trail, at Bolton Lime.  The slugs found it before me and it was pretty well eaten by them.  Jerry found 19 more at the private orchard.

6/3 Oysters on 5 different dead Aspen in Westboro.  They are showing lack of moisture.  They are starting to dry on the tree.  Got about 5#.

6/5  Yesterday I found one dead, standing, Aspen that had about 10' of Oyster mushrooms.  They started about 10' up and continued to about 20' up.  Today I returned with two telescoping painting poles.  I attached a 4" putty knife to the handle of a paint roller that can be screwed on the end of a pole.  I also made a catch basket with a wire hanger and a plastic shopping bag.  I used duct tape to tape the two poles together so that I could reach up to the last Oyster.  The Oysters were relatively young but were half dry due the dry weather we have had this past week.  I decided to put them in the dehydrator and dry them the rest of the way.  Never tried dehydrated Oysters before.

6/17  First Bolete of the season.  Have not had time to ID them yet.  If you recognize any, please let me know.

6/18  A lot of young untouched Platterful and nothing else.  Decided to pick them and try.  I cut them up and put them in a covered container and microwaved them in their own juice.  I would rate them as good.  Had them in an omelet a few days later.

6/19  Went to the Cape with Lenny.  Checked in Provincetown, Truro and Wellfleet, nothing.

6/20  Went back to Grafton where I found the first Boletes and found more.

6/24  No appreciable rain since the 8th.  Things are dry and hot weather is predicted for the next few days.  I decided to go out one more time.  Went to Grafton and found young Chicken of the Woods, Dotted-stalk Suillus and Platterful.  Even the swamp is drying out.  Need rain bad.

7/1  Today the heat let up a bit but it was still very humid.  Last few days we got a sprinkle of rain.  I went out today.  Found 6 Bolete.  Recognized only the Dotted-stalk Suillus.  Also found a handful of Voluminous-latex Milky.  Plus about a pound of Scaly Tooth and some mature Chicken of the Woods.    I tried Scaly Tooth last year but do not remember how I liked it.  I cooked in water and tried it.  It has a bitter taste.
The mushrooms will have to learn how to get the water from the air :o)
No soaking rain in sight.

7/3  Explored Purgatory in Sutton, MA.  It looks like there was some recent rain there.  Found small Bolete, some small pale Lactarius, what looked like small Small Chanterelle, and a group of 4 tree mushrooms.

7/7  After 1.73" of rain I decided to check the theory that some mushrooms form the entire fruiting body minus the liquid and then wait for rain to pop up overnight.  Visited 3 sites but found no new mushrooms.  I guess the mushrooms are not aware of the theory :o)
Did find old Platterfuls, Russulas, Lactarius and Witches Butter.

7/9  After a total of 3.73" of rain in the past 3 days I went hunting.  In Sutton and Shrewsbury I found some new mushrooms sprouting.  A young Bondarzew's Polypore in Sutton and a tender Chicken Mushroom in Shrewsbury were some of the finds.  Grafton has new mushrooms sprouting all over the place.  A Bolete that looked like the King got me excited :o)  Here is an odd one.

7/10  Checked the back yard for Boletus bicolor, none yet.  Checked the spot in Westboro where I found King Bolete last year, none yet.  I am determined to find some in good shape this year.
In Bolton I found my first Common Chanterelle of the year, and a handful of Hygrophorus Milky that just started popping out.

7/12  Surprisingly few mushrooms the last two days.  A few Ross's Boletes, Corts, and sprouting of Smooth Chanterelle in Westboro.

7/13  Went back to Purgatory in Sutton.  Wanted to see what the "buns" turned into.  I found part of it lying about 10' from where it grew.  Looks like it was used like a football by someone.  I took some pictures anyway.  I still think it is Bondarzew's Polypore.  Found a handful of Lactarius volemus, Hygrophorus Milky, unknown boletes, Boletus bicolor, a lot of Russulas, an Amanita with baby, a colorful little mushroom, and a whole bunch of Yellow-footed Chanterelle. 

7/14  Explored Jerry's secret site for giant bolete in Rutland.  Please do not ask me where it is.  He made me swear on a stack of Bibles that I would not divulge the location under penalty of death :o) It is good to have a friend who is too busy to visit his choice spots for wild mushrooms :o)  I volunteered to do this important work for free!  Either I did not find the bolete or it was the wrong time to find them.  I did find a handful of Lactarius volemus, a lot of Russula and several small bolete.  Have to make a return trip after some rain.

7/15  Explored a place in Northbridge for Jerry.  No boletes except for one beat up Dotted-stalk Suillus.  A couple of interesting mushrooms.  One I identify as Chocolate Milky (Lactarius lignyotus) the other I believe to be a Veiled Oyster.  If you disagree, speak up.
Then I went to my old dependable spot in Grafton.  The first mushroom and the second were Boletus bicolor.  An interesting unknown bolete.  Then I found one mature Xanthoconium separans!!!  That made the day :o)

7/16  Explored new trails at the Grafton site.  Found a small bolete that might have been Boletus sensibilis.  Its stalk was almost all yellow.  It was trying to hide from me by growing right next to a blueberry bushes.  By the time I got it out it was in pieces.  Also found a pretty Chicken Cincinnatus.  Then I went to Westboro to check on the Smooth Chanterelle.  The bodies I noticed 4 days ago have not grown at all.  I guess Tim Geho, of Mushroom Expert has something.  He says that Chanterelle need a series of rain periods to grow properly.  We have not had rain for a week.  Also found Lactarius volemus, and of course Platterful.  But the best find was a pair of large bolete growing right next to a narrow path just off a paved road.  It is a new species for me.  I have not been able to get a spore print.  The cap color and the white reticulation on the upper stem started me thinking KING.  I tasted it several times and there is no bitter taste.  The pores should have started turning a dingy yellow if they are King but I do not see this happening.  These bolete were growing under oak.  Take look at the pictures and see if you recognize it.

7/17  Went out today briefly.  Humidity very high and uncomfortable!  Found another Chicken Cincinnatus.  What's with these Chickens, I never found so many Chicken Cincinnatus before.  I also found what looks to me a younger version of bolete which is currently my ID problem.  James says the brown staining indicates Tylopilus genus.

7/20  Stayed inside for three days because of temperature in the 90's and high humidity.  Went out early today for a walk around Jordan Pond in the back yard.  Found four boletes with reddish brown pores and a long undulating stalk that widens before the cap.  Also found a Spotted Bolete and small unknown.  The final mushroom is also a bolete that could be Boletus sensibilis.

7/21    Today was last chance for me to show Lyudmila, American Mushrooms.  Her relatives are taking up the rest of her time before she flies off to Moscow this Tuesday.  It looks like the American mushrooms wanted to show off for her even though we have not had substantial rain in two weeks :o)  I took her to my Grafton MA site where I found most of my boletes this year.  The rest of the story is best told with pictures.

7/22  Went back to the Grafton site.  Found a few L. volemus, bicolor, separans, and some unknowns.  Made up a bag for the freezer.  Can eat just so many :o)

7/23  Went to Rutland this morning.  Found nothing near the water except some old bolete and Amanita of some kind.  Took a different route from the pond.  Found quite a few L. volemus and then found a patch of Lobster Mushrooms.  Found 10.  Found Boletus bicolor at 3 different stages of growth.  Got some pictures to remind me what an old bicolor looks like.  Then found a patch of Wine-stain Bolete!  Got 13, young, prime condition specimens.  Then went to Northboro to check on the Lobster patch there.  Found 3 large once.

7/24  Checked Purgatory.  Very dry.  Very few mushrooms of any kind.

7/25   At Bolton Lime things are also very dry.  Got a few Hygrophorus Milky and one Lobster.  Checked Grafton site.  Things also very dry.  Found about 5 Wine-stain Bolete and some L. volemus.  The Wine-stain Bolete had cracked caps, I assume due to lack of moisture.  Except for the youngest specimens they had worms in the stem.  The worms are small, white and hard to see.  As worms go, they are not bad looking :o) They appear to leave no unpleasant looking residue as they work.  I noticed them as leftovers in the pot I boiled the mushrooms in.  This last batch I am drying in a food dehydrator.  The worms drop out on a tray below as the mushrooms dry.  Eat worms while you have a chance for they will eat you eventually :o)  Unless you have yourself cremated? 
Do you suppose the Wine-stain Bolete tastes so good because of the worms???

7/27  Checked Jerry's place in Rutland again.  Nothing.  In the area found one wet spot that had about 8 large, brown caped mushrooms.  Caps were up to 7" in diameter, stalks up to 2.5".  The pores bruised light brown.  Most likely Tylopilus genus.  Trying to get spore print.  Also found a few Bicolor and one decent shaped Wine-stain Bolete.

7/30  On the 27th, Shrewsbury got 1/4" of rain, Worcester 1/2" of rain.  Today Jerry and I went to Paxton to see what that rain produced.  I finally got to see a Gilled Bolete!!  Jerry knew it and showed me what it looks like.  We got a few Bicolor Boletes and a Chicken Cincinnatus, but the the best find was two Polyporus umbellatus The Umbrella Polypore.  One was fresh,  definitely a product of the latest rain. This was a first for both of us.

Afterwards I went to Rutland.  Jerry had to go home to do Boy Scout work.  I found several Bolete that had a rough pitted cap.  I tentatively identified it as Boletus hortonii.  Please let me know if I am wrong.  I also found several good specimens of Bicolor/Sensibilis, L. volemus and L. hygrophoroides.  No volume but high quality today :o)

8/1  Decided to check the back yard this morning.  On the other side of Jordan Pond there is a stone ledge at the bottom of which I find very large bicolor/sensibilis, after a rain.  This morning I found 2.  One had a 5" cap the other a 7.5" cap.  Both in prime condition, no worms or worm holes.  In the same place I found 3 good size Lactarius corrugis.  Two were tipped over.  I suspect it was squirrels.  I think they do not like sticky paws so they let them be.  Found a few Peppery Milky for Victor.  He pickles them in salt.  Also found one prime condition Lobster Mushroom.  The cap measured 5" at the widest point.  It pays to check the back yard :o)  Take a look at how I take care of  bicolor/sensibilis.

8/2  Went back to the Paxton site to see if I could catch another Umbrella Polypore.  No luck.  Then went to Rutland.  Found several Bicolor, some Dotted-stalk Suillus, Lactarius volemus, Lactarius hygrophoroides, Gerard's Milky, and 2 prime condition, young, Wine-stain Boletes!!  There were signs of some rain that came down, a puddle here and there.  The rain dancers must be on vacation :o)

Then there was something interesting...  At first I dismissed it as just another Platterful Mushroom.  On second look it looked too tall and graceful to be a Platterful.

8/3  Today I received 3 pictures from James T. from the WPA club group that he captioned "Found under Oaks a couple of days ago. Pretty mushroom." He does not give the size of the mushroom nor any other information.  To me it looks like American Caesar's Mushroom.  There is a possible hint that he thinks so also since he called the files caes1, caes2 and caes3.  It also could mean that he took pictures with a Canon ES camera :o)  What do you think?  I put his 3 pictures on this page.  You experts, it is time to come forward and be heard :o)  The coffee break is over!

8/6  Went exploring Swift River Reservation in Petersham today.  Nothing else to do till the rain, we had South of Worcester yesterday, does its magic.  It looks like they had some rain in Petersham.  The soil looked damp.  Very few mushrooms though.  I did find a hand full of Dotted-stalk Suillus and a couple unknown Bolete that were fresh enough for the kitchen.  It looks like the major tree in that forest is Hemlock.  Sun does not make it to the forest floor.  Most of the mushrooms found were on the side of trails.  I did find  a handful of old, chewed up, Common Chanterelle.  Also found a large Bolete in the process of liquefying.  The cap was about 6" in diameter and it had a stout stalk and a cloud of small fruit fly like things flying around it..  It was too far gone to ID.  But I had King on my mind :o) 

In the interesting department is what I believe to be Coltricia perennis

On the way up to Petersham I stopped by the Rutland site.  Found a couple of large, but usable, bicolor/sensibilis and one useable separans.  A few Dotted-stalk Suillus and some kind of Clitocybe, I think.  Also found a small (2" cap), but going bad, Rooting Shank.  I managed to dig it out with most of its root.  It is about as long as the stem above ground!!!

8/7  Smooth Chanterelle got tired of waiting for the rain and is coming up in Westboro.  A one mushroom day.

8/8  Checked South of Worcester sites and looks like there was a heavy downpour there last Friday.  This is three days later and the only fresh mushrooms I found was a Chicken Cincinnatus and some unknown Bolete.  Will check again in a few days.

8/9  Explored new trails in Grafton.  Found a Chicken of the Woods, Peppery Milky, and a few bolete that are coming up.  Left those for Tom.  Also found a fresh Sweetbread, I think.  Take a look at the bottom of this page.  I have the cap down for a spore print.

8/10  Went on my daily exercise walk on the Midstate Trail in Rutland.  Useful mushrooms were scares but I did find a couple of interesting once.  Is there such a thing as an aborted Lobster Mushroom?
The second is a hard and brittle mushroom that looks like some kind of Hygrophorus.  Would appreciate feedback on these two oddballs.  Thanks.

8/11  Tom and I had a two man foray today.  Mushrooms were scares but we found enough for a few meals.
Sweetbread mushrooms were all over the place.  We found Boletus bicolor, Wine-stain Bolete and several other bolete.  We got a Chicken Cincinnatus for Tom to try.  I showed him Smooth Chanterelle in my best patch.  A mushroom hunt is always more fun when you have good company.

8/13  Humid this morning.  It was like walking in a sauna.  Went out to Grafton and got a dozen Sweetbread, 3 Ornate Stalk Bolete, 3 unknown bolete.  Now I have time to try and figure out what the unknown boletes are.  I am trying to get spore prints on a clear Plexiglas.  I am hoping to get a more realistic print.

8/14  Went to take out the trash to the dumpster and spotted an interesting mushroom growing next to an oak.  Went back in for the camera.  Take a look at this.  My only guess is that it is a young Berkeley's Polypore.  Anyone recognize it?

8/15  Yesterday we had 0.8" of rain in Shrewsbury.  By the radar it looks like there was more North and South of Shrewsbury.  This morning the total rainfall was 1.19".  This should stimulate the mushrooms!  We will see what will pop up in 3 or 4 days days.  Back to the hunt!

 8/16  Went to Grafton to see what kind of rain fell there.  From the puddles, I would estimate about an inch of rain.  Purely a guess.  Found 2 Wine-stain Bolete that must have come up before the rain, now soaked and in the process of disintegration.  Found one mature specimen in good shape for eating.  Also a small one (about 1" high) just popping out.  Sure looks like the King in the enlarged picture :o)
Also one for the mycologist.

8/17  Checked on the Chanterelle patch in Westboro.  The soil is wet so there was some rain there.  The Chanterelle grew some since 8/11but very little.  Found one Wine-stain Bolete with the cap missing.  I have a competitor in those woods. 

Also visited the Rutland hunting grounds.  Found a few mushrooms that are similar to what I identified as Clitocybe irina.  These do not have the upraised cap but do have an umbo.  On one I noticed the gills and stem turning a brown color where I touched them.  So I still think I am dealing with irina.

8/18  Third day after the rain.  There is indications that new mushrooms are coming up.  In Sutton I found a Bondarzew's Polypore coming up almost in the same spot where I found one on July 9.  Hope the mushroom kicker stays away and it gets to grow into a mature specimen.  I plan to check on it in about a week.  Also found a pair of about one inch high Boletus bicolor, but the stems had worm holes so not sure if this is a new crop.
At the Grafton site I found 2 young Wine-stain Bolete.  Several Boletus bicolor, a couple of Pale Bolete and a couple of unknown Bolete.  Got about 5 miles of exercise today :o)

8/19  Today I took Jerry to my Chanterelle patch.  Quite a few grew to maturity in the last two days.  We each got a good bunch.  Very few other mushrooms were seen. We did find two fresh Frost's Boletes.  Then we checked a site in Northboro.  Even less mushrooms there.  Where have all the Amanitas gone to?  Jerry did find one budding Chicken Cincinnatus. 

8/20  Instead of getting better, things are getting worse.  On this 5th day after the rain I found very few mushrooms.  At a Shrewsbury site I found practically nothing except for what looked like a small, dried out, Hen of the Woods??  At my A1 site in Grafton, there were a couple of large (my guess) Rag-veil Amanita that looked impressive.  Otherwise I found one Frost's Bolete, one Pale Bolete and this 2" high pot-bellied little beauty.

8/21  Day of rest.  Very humid day.  Early in the morning a thundershower went through and left behind 0.2" of rain.  Better than nothing.  Noticed a Parasol on the lawn this morning.  About the same place as last year and within 5 days of the same date. 

8/22  Found another Parasol mushroom by Jordan Pond.  It had no movable ring around the stem.  Then I went to Purgatory to check on the "bun".  Here is the change in appearance since I first photographed it four days ago.  Found 4 bicolor in young form.  Enough for a fry.

8/23  I Grafton found two Pale Bolete and two Ornate-stalked Bolete.  Went to the Chanterelle patch and picked some for Victor.  Not many new once are coming up.  Probably one more harvest in about a week and that is that.  Reports of Hen in the Woods in PA.  Time to start looking for fall mushrooms.

8/25  Went to Sutton to check on the "bun" mushroom but did not find it in place.  The mushroom kicker took care of it.  Found a few dried out Hygrophorus Milky.
Went to the Rutland site.  Found an old, thin Chicken.  A few Sweetbread an a Giant Clitocybe.  There was a large dieing Rooting shank.

8/27  In the back yard I found one good size bicolor/sensibilis.  In Grafton there was a mess of young Bolete.  Mostly bicolor, pale, ornate stalk and several unknown bolete.  Also found a Chicken bud.  Plan to return and photograph every other day to document the development.

8/28  Today I explored another trail in Grafton.  Found more Bolete and Chicken buds.  Went to the Upton foray to see if someone could identify some of the mushrooms I found.  I learned that one mushroom that I found the last two days is the Chicken-fat Suillus.  I was disappointed to find out that George no longer goes to these things as he has a new job where he works on Sunday.  Without an identification expert like George, the BMC forays are even more useless to a beginner who is interested in learning to identify edible mushrooms.

8/29  I find mushrooms amazing and unpredictable.  Less then 1/3 of an inch of rain in the past 10 days but Bolete are popping out all over!!  I went to the Grafton site a third day in a row and found about 3# of Bolete.  Most were Pale Bolete.  Almost equal amount of Bicolor.  Some Ornate-stalked Bolete and a few what I identify as Suillus castanellus.  Took a picture of a Chicken that was a bud 2 days ago.

There is an advantage being a beginner, I get to find so many new mushrooms :o)  In the back yard I found a patch of about 23 Leccinum albellum.  If my ID is not correct please let me know.  And lastly another oddball for the mycologists.  It looks like it started out to be a bolete and then forgot what came next :o)

9/1  After 3 days of drizzle and very little rain, checked on the Grafton MA site again.  As usual there was plenty of bolete.  The three most common were Pale, Ornate-stalked and Bicolor Bolete.  The Chicken buds developed into a Chicken log :o)  Found one Wine-stain Bolete but it was soggy and wormy.  One bolete looks to me to be an older version of 2" high pot-bellied little beauty.

The Fall variation of the Pine Sap has arrived.  See Tom's page

for the interesting connection of this wild flower to mushrooms.

9/3  Went out to the Grafton site with Jerry.  He knew of a few spots where the Black Trumpet came up in previous years.  He found enough for himself and even gave me some.  I told him that I did not care for it but he insisted that I will like it if I cook it properly.  He gave me instructions :o)  We also found a Chicken of the Woods, Black Velvet Bolete, Bicolor Bolete, Painted Suillus, Dotted-stalked Suillus, and a few unknown Bolete.  I concentrated on taking pictures of oddballs.  

9/4  Today I went to the Rutland site.  Found the usual, Pale, Bicolor and Painted Bolete.  Then there were the unusual.  Five Rooting Shank in the same area.  A white polypore of some kind growing on an oak branch.  A brown gilled agarics growing on a rotten log.  An agaric with a large bulb at the base of the stalk.  The most interesting to me was to find an Earthball with 3 Parasitic Bolete attached.  Never saw that before.

9/11  Cape Cod.  Even though it was dry, and very little chance of finding mushrooms, I took a ride to Provincetown.  I was staying in Denis Port at that time.  I checked Race point, Pilgrim Heights and Marconi Station areas.  Found only a few mushrooms at Race Point.

9/13  No native Americans, no rain dancing, no mushrooms :o)  Where are the Indians when you need them?  Went to take out the trash and saw a clump of thirsty looking Jack O'Lantern.  Went to my favorite Grafton site.  As I drove up, I saw a cloud of dust in the rear view mirror.  Now that is dry!  Never the less there were a few mushrooms like Russula and Amanita and even a few small Bolete.  The story is best told in pictures.

9/19  Made a trip to upper Cape while in Dennis Port.  Though that part of the Cape had just had heavy rain, 4 days earlier,  relatively few mushrooms were up.  Mushrooms were found only at Race Point in Provincetown.  I found a hairy looking Polypore growing on a scrub oak.  Never saw anything like it before.  It was soft to the touch and sliced easily.  I have no idea what it is.
I did find eight young Scaber Stalks and many Slippery Jill.  My Russian acquaintances were happy to get them.  Also found one young Black Velvet Bolete growing 2 feet from one that was mature.  I finally got to see what the mature one looks like.

9/22  Again I found no mushrooms at Marconi Station or Head of the Meadow, only at Race Point.  I found many Honey Mushrooms and was able to be picky and pick only the youngest.  My Russian acquaintances called them the Russian equivalent of "Toadstools" - Paganki.  To me they taste infinitely better then the Scaber Stalk, that they prize.  To each his own.  I brought them a bag of those.  They cooked them up and brought me a container full the next day.  It tastes good the way they prepare them.  Met a few interesting critters on the Cape, and saw a sunrise or two.

9/30  Went looking for Hen of the Woods and Aborted Entoloma in my usual spots.  No sign of the Hen, yet,  and only a couple Entoloma.  On the way back I checked the spot, near my apartment, where I found Giant Puffballs last year, and found 17 Puffballs!!  It pays to check the back yard!

10/1  Ahhhhh..., it is good to be a beginner!  Today I found a Bear's Head Tooth, for the first time.  It is rated choice.  I found it a bit bland so I would rate it as good.  There are a couple more clumps starting on the same log so I might go back to Rutland and get those when they grow up and give them a second chance to become "choice" :o)
  I went out there to check out the stumps, in a clear cut area, for Grifola frondosa.  I heard people say they find them growing on stumps.  I did not find any.  Has anyone found Hen growing on stumps?  If so, was it growing on top of the stump, on the side of the stump, or at the base of the stump?  I once found one Hen growing at a base of rotten stump, I assume was an oak.  The only new mushrooms coming out were a few Dotted Stalk Suillus. 

10/2  Finally!!  A small Hen of the Woods.  Found it at the Grafton site.  It was growing in the "V" of a twin oak about 3' off the ground!  Never found one like this before.  One side of the V was dead, the other alive.  It was about 8" in the longest dimension.  Included on this page are a few other interesting mushrooms.

10/3 I had stumps on my mind :o)  I remembered last year finding an old rotten stump that produced about a 5# Hen.  Today I re visited that stump.  It had 2 Hen by it.  One was about a foot in the longest dimension, the other about 8".  Both in better shape then the first that I found yesterday.  Also found quite a few Dotted Stalk Suillus, Painted Suillus and Aborted Entoloma.

10/9  Went to Race Point and Pilgrim Heights with Victor and Izzy, a couple of  Russians.  They hunted for Scaber Stalks while I looked for other things.  Found another 2 Inonotus hispidus at Race point.  Also found one good bunch of Honey Mushrooms.  Victor braved up and decided to try them.  We met a Russian who had come from New Hampshire to pick Scaber Stalks.  He had a trunk full after 6.5 hours of picking with his wife.  Race point was picked clean.  We had to go to Pilgrim Heights to get us some "Reds".

10/11  Went to Race Point, Pilgrim Heights and Marconi Station looking for Matsutake.  Found none.  There were more Russians then Mushrooms :o)  If you wanted Scaber Stalks you would have to hold up a Russian.  I did manage to find more then I wanted by going to Great Island.  Also quite a few Boletus projectellus.  At Marconi I found what I ID as Hynellum peckii

10/12  Aleksey came to stay in Victor's condo and he asked me to show show him my mushroom spots on the Cape.  Vlad, the Skipper Motel owner, invited himself to go with us :o)  Again we hit Race Point, Pilgrim Heights and Great Island.  We gathered about 5, 5gal buckets of Reds, most of them at Race Point.  I found what I thought was a King but have not been able to get a spore print from it.  I decided that it is some bolete that was in the process of being attacked by another fungus.  The pores appeared to be closed.  Still no sign of the Matsutake.

10/14  Went out briefly to Westboro to check the spot where I found Kings last year.  No sign of them.  Then I went to the site of oaks that produced Hens the past two years.  Nothing.  On the way down the hill, in my car, my eyes were attracted to a pile of oak leaves with a clump of mushrooms growing out of it.  They were a close grouping but also individuals growing to the side.  I was attracted to the contorted cap of the mushrooms.  They remind me of Oyster Mushrooms that I bought in the store.  I am baffled.  Is it a Clitocybe of some sort?  Does anyone recognize it?  It looks and smells good enough to eat :o)  Will try to get a spore print overnight.

10/15  Mushrooming between the raindrops.  We got about 10.5" of rain this month, so far.  It brightened a bit at 2 pm and the rain became a light drizzle.  I went to the Grafton site where I find a lot of bolete.  On the way over there I noticed a splash of orange on a lawn.  It turned out to be an old Jack O'Lantern.  Nearby were some baby jacks just popping out of the ground.  The trails were small streams on the conservation land so I did not get far there.  Then it started raining again so I started home.  I go by a stand of Spruce and  caught sight of some mushrooms under one of them.  On approach it turned out to be a red variety of Fly Amanita.  Then I walked further and saw a very impressive bolete standing by itself.  Take a look at the pictures. 

10/16  Finally it stopped raining and the sun came out!!  Shrewsbury wound up with 10.47" of rain and next door Worcester got 12.67".  Went out to my best bolete site, in Grafton.  On the way I decided to stop by the Spruce grove and take a picture of the colorful Fly Amanita.  When I got there I could not see the Amanita at first.  I wondered if a squirrel might have got it.  Anyone ever see a tripping squirrel?  While there I decided to walk the grove and see if I could find another King.  I found 2!!!  They were not as tall as the first but they were dry and much prettier :o)  Now these fit the description of a King to a T!  The first one was soaked so it was hard to see the white reticulation.  On these it is clear as day.  This is the first time I am positive of my ID!  I even found the red Fly Amanita.  The Grafton site was flooded and I saw only LBMs and one old soaked Black Velvet Bolete.  Take a look at the pictures.

10/17  Visited the "Jack" site and took 3 old caps for a spore print.  This morning I had a good print from one cap.  I tend to agree now with Aaron, that it is a Big Laughing Gym, Gymnopilus spectabilis.  Also I took one of the small once growing in a different clump about 2 feet away.

In the afternoon I went to Moore State Park in Paxton after finding out that the road was washed out and closed to my favorite site in Rutland.  I found 2 mushrooms growing in quantity.  One looked like an escapee from the grocery store.  The other was larger and more impressive.  My thinking is that is some kind of Trich.  Let me know if you recognize either one of these.

10/18  Went checking Hen infected oak for Grifola frondosa.  None.  Looks like another bad year just like last.

10/19  Checked the back yard and found some prime condition Clitocybe candida.  Decided to cook them up and try them.  I am going to make like a cautious Chuck Barrows :o)

Also in the back yard I found some young Blewits.  A first, this year, for me.  This is one of my favorite mushrooms.

I continue to find young mushrooms that are drying out rather then growing.  My guess is that the mycelium was either damaged or killed by all that rain and the mushrooms are not getting the water and nutrients needed to grow.  The boletes stopped coming up like someone turned off the spigot.  Hope the mushrooms fix what is wrong.  I need more KINGS!!!  Take a look at the picture story of the day.

10/20 Survived the Clitocybe candida with no side effects.  I would rate it edible plus.  Today I explored my favorite Rutland site.  The usual hot spots were barren.  Then I decided to check the stumps in the clear cut area and found a few interesting things.  Found my 4th Grifola frondosa.  An unusual Beefsteak Polypore and some other mushrooms.

10/21  Last night the temperature got down to 30 in Shrewsbury.  First frost of the season. 

Checked Edmund Hill Woods and Pisgah woods in Northboro.  Did not find anything worth mentioning.  Later Jerry wrote that he was at Edmund Hill Woods about 15 minutes after I left and he found 2 Hen of the Woods.

 10/22  Visited Boynton Park in Worcester.  Checked the spot where I found the Giant Clitocybe ferry ring that started this obsession 3 years ago in 2002.  Found about 10 Giant Clitocybe but no ferry ring.  Then I went to another spot where I found Sweet Tooth (Hydnum repandum) last year.  Found a handful.  They are small and remind me of Common Chanterelle in color and texture.  I considered that it might be the smaller species called Hydnum umbilicatum but decided I had Sweet Tooth but smaller in size than normal.  They were not growing in a wet spot but toward the top of a hill.  Also they did not have a central depression.

10/23  Went to Stow Town Forest with Yevgeniy.  Found a few Dotted Stalk Suillus and a few unknown mushrooms.  The usual pile of leaves that produces Blewits had some other look alike mushrooms that did not look nor smell right.  Looks like the mushroom season is on a steep decline.

10/26  Last 24 hrs, or so, we got 3.4" more of rain for a total of 13.89" this month.  We continue to have cold weather where it gets down to low 30's at night.  Mushroom are growing slowly where you find them at all.  Last couple of days I stayed home, read some novels and took naps :o)

Today the sun came up and I went to check on a troop of mushrooms growing under a spruce.  They have not grown much, if at all, in the last 3 days.  They look like Amanita at first but I never saw so many growing in such a small area before.  Also, when I removed the partial veil from underneath the cap, I found pinkish colored gills.  Anyone care to hazard a guess as to what they will turn into after they grow up, if they do?

10/28  Two days later the agarics have not grown much.  I decided to check on them because the guy with the mower might terminate them any day :o)

Went to my Grafton site hoping to find Hen or Oysters.  There are a lot of downed trees there, with the bark gone, that look like they were felled by fungi.  No luck.  I found some small mushrooms growing on stumps that looked like they might be Brick Tops, Naematoloma sublateritium.  Also other LBMs.  I avoid LBMs not only because they are too small to bother with but also because they include some of the most poisonous mushrooms.

10/30  Again revisited the mystery Agarics and obtained more data.  Field tested the new Canon S2 IS.  It appears to produce more realistic colors then the Sony.  The Super Macro and 12x Optical zoom are nice features that I did not have on the Sony.  More and better pictures to come :o)

Checked another part of the Grafton site for Hens and Oysters but found only a snake :o)

10/31  It got up to 68 today.  On the way to Grafton site I stopped by the Agaricus patch.  There was one that was noticeably larger.  I picked it up and sectioned it.  The inside of the stem was not hollow but contained cottony like material.  This one had a strong odor and it was not pleasant.  I am afraid my hopes that they will turn out to be Meadow Mushrooms are dashed :o)  I am cursed with finding oddballs!  In three years of hunting, I have yet to find a Meadow Mushroom.

At the Grafton site I gave up on the trails and walked into the woods hoping to find a Hen or Oysters.  No luck.  I found some Brick Tops on a log.  A few Orange Peel in early stages where they look like tiny disks.  A small bunch of Jack O'Lantern and a few Russulas and Lactarius.

11/2  Received 3 photos from Moscow through Victor.  Lyudmila sent them for me.  When she was visiting Victor, I took her on a foray to Grafton .  She hunts in a forest in Moscow.  I found it interesting that Honey Mushrooms grow high up on Aspen tree there.

11/10 Went out with Jerry and explores tree stumps in Grafton.  Did not find Hen.  There were a few Russulas, some small Amanitas, some LBMs and dead Chicken of the woods.  Found a few buds of Late Fall Oyster.  Tonight they are predicting a hard freeze.  Looking forward to a surprise find and next spring.

Year summery.  Very dry year with heavy rain on occasion.  Hen of the woods had another bad year.  That is two in a row.  Lactarius and Lobster Mushroom also had a bad year.  The spot that produced Kings last year did nothing this year.  I did find a new spot that yielded 3 Kings. 

The up side is that I found a good Bolete spot or two and found many Boletus separans.  That and Bicolor are my current favorite Bolete.


Mushrooming Log