1/12 After a week of warm weather I did some drive-by mushrooming for Oysters. Found none. Then I walked a short trail in Prospect Park but found only some re hydrated False Turkey Tails.
2/3 Visited the Douglas State
Forest Atlantic White Cedar Swamp Trail. The day was perfect for a walk in
the woods. We had about 1.5" of rain two days back and the temperature was
about 40. It was a bright sunny day. I was surprised to find the
trails still covered in ice and packed snow. I had to concentrate on where
I put my foot down. No time for rubber necking for mushrooms high in the
cedar trees. I was out to see if I could find a
Ballou's mushroom that Bill Neill re-discovered in 2005. The boardwalk
was so icy I was afraid of falling off into the swamp if I leaned my head back
too far and became dizzy.
It was quite a bit colder in the swamp. My GPS batteries died after only about half an hour, so I lost all my data such as waypoints. The camera turned on in a hesitating manner.
I did not see any of the mushrooms that Bill Neill saw a week earlier. I did see something that appeared strange to me. There was a cedar that had some mossy looking thing growing out of the bark that looked like Reindeer Lichen to me. Take a look at the pictures.
3/20 I received a message through my web site from Matt D in Leominster MA. He is a mushroom enthusiast. We exchanged several messages and I found out that he knows Bill N and Larry M, the polypore gurus. It turns out that Matt has a woodpile on which is growing an unusual polypore that Bill N was not able to identify. According to Matt, Bill N is bringing Larry, sometime in April, to see if he ever saw anything like it. That made me think of the one log that I have in my back yard. On it is growing a small polypore that appears to come to life after every rain. It could be just a common polypore. They all look the same to me. Take a look at the pictures and see if you recognize it. If you do, let me know?
3/29 In the month of
February, Shrewsbury received over 7" of rain. In March we have had 4.9"
so far. Now if only April would be as wet, we would be all set for a good
crop of mushrooms this spring.
It is still cold. At night the temperatures fall below freezing. Most of the snow has melted. The lakes and ponds are free of ice. Soon!
4/17 Explored a Shrewsbury town parcel which has an unusually large amount of White Ash trees downed. It looks like a fungi playground. Have to see check this place after a good rain and see what kind of fruiting bodies it will produce.
4/28 Finally the temperatures came up during the day and the freezes
stopped at night but we have not had any rain in the past two weeks or so.
So far we have had only 1.53" of rain, this month. The only finds reported
were by Russ C. he found a few False Morels in Eastern MA and on the
Today we are having light rain, maybe after this rain, the season starts?
4/30 We wound up with 3.33"
of rain for the month in Shrewsbury. Today was sunny but cool.
Tonight they are predicting frost.
I went to Acton and Bolton. Places where I have picked Morel as early as May 1, in the past. The morel indicators are out. The Bloodroot has finished blooming. The May Apples are a foot high. No sign of Morel. It is just too cold.
5/3 Today the first True Morel was found by Jerry G in Dudley.
5/5 Today I found my first fungi of the season. Several hundred Mica Caps growing around a stump and a double Dryad's Saddle growing off a maple log. I plan to go up to this Mica patch tomorrow and bring frying equipment with me. Bill R praised the taste of this mushroom. I want to try it and see if it appeals to my taste buds. Pictures.
5/6 "The best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry." Went up there with my cooking supplies and equipment but the mushrooms dried up overnight! I am leaving the equipment in the trunk of my car.
5/9 Morel finally!! Went to Acton and found 23 Yellow Morel under one, or three, trees. There was an old (dead?) apple tree with a small White Ash and even a small live Elm in that area. See the 2 page picture story.
5/10 Went and buried the trimmings and seed morel by a healthy (appearing) 18" diameter American Elm in Westboro. At the same site I checked the apple tree stumps that produce Giant Morel. Found One damaged (#24) Morel and a dead one beside it. There are more slugs than mushrooms so they are doing the damage. Also found some young Mica Caps but not enough to bother picking. Nice young Oyster Mushrooms on a fallen Aspen Tree. Found a bird nest in the open and close to the ground. Found it unusual in that it was reinforced with mud and it appeared to be the handiworks of a Robin. That is the bird that scolded me as I was snapping pictures. Never saw a Robin use mud to reinforce the nest, before. A Robin that has a mind of its own??? See 3 pages of pictures.
5/11 Berkshire Morel Hunt did not
yield many Morel. There were only 2 young Morel found and those were by
one of the founders of the BMS. There were some Morel brought in to the
foray so that new people were able to see what a Yellow Morel, Black Morel and
Half-free Morel looked like. I was finally able to see a Devil's Urn for
the first time. It was rather old and in bad shape, like me :o) They
said they found Scarlet Cup a week earlier. None were found this day.
The best part was talking to the regulars after the foray. Even Jim was
friendlier than I remember him.
The most unusual thing at this foray was seeing these great piles of black feces all over the forest. Later I found out they were produced by Black Bear! Those were healthy piles of shit! I wonder what they were feeding on ?? I hope it was not mushroom hunters! Pictures
5/13 Went back to the Westboro Farm and checked the Robin's nest. She was home. After a while she left the nest. I took a picture of the inside of the nest. See the updated page. No scolding this time. That is good since she would attract the Jays. I then checked the Oysters that I discovered last time. They did not grow much in 3 days and looked a bit dried out so I harvested them. I want a picture of the spores so I can compare it to Oysters on a maple if I ever find them. The single Morel by the apple tree also did not grow in the three days. It looked like a fungus was attacking the stem so I harvested it for spores also. I also found a clump of light brown cups. I am trying for a spore print so that I can ID them. See pictures.
5/17 Went back to the
Westboro Farm and checked the Robin's nest. There are 2 eggs in the nest
now. I found a single LMB near the nest but being in a hurry to get away
from the nest I dropped it.
The brown cups are still coming up by the apple stumps. I did find another large Morel by the same apple stump as before (#25). No sign of the cup or the Morel releasing spored, six hours after picking them.
5/25 Plenty of rain on the Cape but rather cool and windy. Took a Russian lady along to check Provincetown, Truro and Wellfleet. Nothing!
5/31 It was a dry month in Central Massachusetts. A little over an inch of rain for the month. Mushrooms are rare.
6/7 We have had light rain for about 4 days for a total of less than .5 inches. The temperatures were in the 60's for the most part. Today it was sunny muggy and hot. It reached 91 degrees. The weatherman is promising more of the same for 3 more days. Today I went to Grafton to see if fungi responded to the 4 days of wet weather. All I found is some LBM's and what looks like a small Cort but no sign of a cortina. See pictures.
6/13 After hearing that Ganoderma tsugae was found in Vermont, I went out to the bog in Oxford and checked the hemlock snags where we found a few bags of them last year, with Jerry. I found a total of 7 small once. I was surprised that I did not find any other mushrooms even in the wet areas. The weathermen are promising some rain in the next 4 days. Maybe then the mushroom season will go into high gear?
6/24 Finally some appreciable rain! Shrewsbury got 1.1" while Worcester got about 3", in the past 24 hours. This morning I went to a place in Northboro. First two mushrooms I saw looked like some Waxy Caps, to me. Then I saw, several, what looked like a small Platterful but the spores turned out to be 6 sided so it is an Entoloma of some kind? Some other interesting mushrooms, for the mind instead of the stomach. Take a look at the 6 pages of pictures.
6/26 Went back to check on that baby polypore to see what it developed into. Bill Neill guessed that it might be the Elegant Polypore - Polyporus varius, because he thought he saw some black color appearing at the bottom of the stem. He apparently can see into the future :o) There is brown and black color now at the bottom of the stem. Also I found small group of interesting LBMs. Take a look at 2 pages of pictures.
6/27 Today I stopped by the house on South Quinsigamond Ave., in Shrewsbury, to check if any mushrooms were popping up. There I found my first of the year Hygrophorus Milky. There were a few rosy Russulas and several types of Amanitas. See the 2 pages of pictures here. Then I went to Grafton. I found 5 Bicolor Bolete, 3 of those were young and in prime condition for eating. Also found several Sweetbread Mushrooms - Clitopilus prunulus but not enough to bother collecting for food. Some tiny Lactarius that look like Candy Caps but do not smell right. Also photographed some interesting looking mushrooms. Take a look at the 3 pages of pictures.
6/28 Went to check on the
Elegant Polypore. Sure enough, the stem was black on all 3 of them.
The cap looks like it was not going to change much anymore. Besides that
the slugs were eating them fast. I picked two for a spore print. The
pores under the cap are very small and I have no spore print after 5 hours.
I will leave it overnight.
It was a foggy morning with little light so the camera had problems focusing properly. When I focused on the mushroom elevation the camera thought I wanted to take a picture of the trees in the background :o) I got clear pictures of the pores and top of cap. This is the second place where I noticed wild May Apple plants. Looks like this is the year of May Apples and Sarsaparilla! The pictures are here.
6/29 I went to Northbridge today. I went to a place that Jerry showed me. He said he found tons of Bicolor Bolete at the site. Of course, when we went, not a one was to be found. I track thunder storms by using the radar map that the Weather Channel site provides. About a week ago I noticed a large thunderstorm go through that area. Today I decide to check it for Bicolor Bolete. What I found is the bolete that Marty and Jerry call Kings. Most of them were wormy but there were so many of them that I got tired of taking pictures of them :o) A rough estimate is that I found 75 of them. They were growing in White Pine groves. They reminded me of Boletus separans so the first thing I did is to test a few with KOH. No reaction so they are not separans! They look like Kings to me. Nice white reticulation on the stem. I put up a couple of caps for spore print. Take a look at the the 6 pages of pictures from today's foray.
6/30 Today I went out and
gave a burial to the dead and wormy Kings that I collected yesterday.
About a week ago I discovered a new trail that the town of Northboro put in.
This trail goes through a small grove of Balsam Fir and White Spruce. I
read that fir and spruce are two of the favorite trees of the King Bolete.
So these Kings must think that they died and gone to heaven :o) While
there I photographed that last remaining Elegant Polypore. It has not
On the way home I came by the way of Maple Street in Shrewsbury. I noticed that the stump that produced Ganoderma curtisii, last year, is at it again. There are 4 new buds.
In the afternoon I did not feel tired so I decide to check the Hemlock woods in Oxford. It looked like there was some recent rainfall there. First thing I saw was some "brown" cups on the trail. I was surprised to see them this time of the year. Then I found a rotten stump with a mess of tiny mushrooms growing on it. They were about 1/4" and smaller. The surprise of the day was finding what looks like a scaber stalk mushrooms which was pink all over. I never saw anything like this before. Could not find anything similar in the NA Boletes. I gave it the full treatment. Maybe someone will recognize it?? Take a look at the two pages of pictures.
7/1 Today I planed to go back to Northbridge. On the way I stopped by the house on S. Quinsigamond Ave. to see what new popped up. This time the owner of the property caught me :o) "What are you doing there??" I explained and told him that he has the best mushroom yard of anyone in town. I asked for permission to photograph his mushrooms and take some samples. He said OK. He had a few more of the Distant Gilled Milkys and I explained that they are choice edibles. I started having an insulin reaction so I postponed my trip to Northbridge. Take a look at the neighbor's mushrooms.
7/1 We have been getting thunderstorms lately. Yesterday we got 3/4" of nitrogen rich rain. The mushrooms love this! Where I live, in an elderly housing apartment, the Amanitas are popping up in the yard every day. A tenant neighbor approached me and said, "Did you see that large mushroom in the front yard?" This man new little about mushrooms so I assumed he found a large Amanita. My apartment is on the first floor and exist to the back yard. I seldom go to the front yard and the main entrance. I waited till the rain passed and went to check the front yard for mushrooms. Sure enough, there was a large bolete growing right against the handicap parking sign. A large oak was nearby. I found two other small once also. See the pictures.
7/2 My plans to go back to Northbridge again were interrupted when Jerry gave detailed information as to where he found his Kings in Oxford. While the Kings are popping up all over, I wanted to see as many different places as I can where they can be found. I would like to re visit these places in the fall and see if they again will produce Kings, and if so, will they be different from those we are finding now? It was a foggy damp morning in Oxford. I was soaked in no time at all. The first bolete I found was in prime shape but unfortunately it was the Bitter Bolete. I tasted it! Then I saw what at first glance looked like the Gypsy (Rozites caperata). I figured what the hell, if the Kings can not wait till the fall, maybe the Gypsies do not want to wait also. It is one of my favorite mushrooms to eat but up to now I found it only on the Cape. As soon as I looked at the stem I knew it was something else. There was no ring on the stem and the stem was the wrong color. Eventually I found the spot with the Kings. I saw about 2 dozen and found 13 which were worm free. I found a few mushrooms unknown to me. Take a look at the 4 pages of pictures.
7/2 The yard, where I live, is sprouting some Hygrophorus Milkys and this colorful little bolete whatever it it.
7/4 This morning Jerry took
me to a place where he found Kings previously. We did a lot of walking in foggy
drizzly weather. I swear we walked to hell and back :o) Lots of interesting
mushrooms but only 4 small Kings which Jerry spotted. First thing I did when I
got home is have an early lunch and a 2 hour nap. Then I went out and
photographed some of the interesting mushrooms we found. Thank God it stopped
raining. I should bite my tongue! I put up a mess off mushrooms for spore
prints. Now to edit the pictures. I will take off tomorrow to process the
mushrooms we found.
I hate to admit it but I am developing a liking for non-edible mushrooms. Hear that George? Just call me George II :o) There is that expected feeling of discovering something I never saw before. We spotted 3 kinds of slime mold, the Dog Vomit Slime and 2 unknowns. The Bitter Bolete was everywhere.
This spot looked like it has not got much rain before last night and today. I think it is worth re visiting in about 5 days. Take a look at 7 pages of pictures.
7/5 After processing yesterdays pictures I decide to check around my apartment building. The mushrooms are everywhere!!! First I found what I thought was a group of Xanthoconium affine but the ammonia test showed that they are Xanthoconium purpureum. A hallo of green forms around the drop of ammonia then slowly fades away. This works only on fresh mushrooms. Next I checked around oak trees in the yard for Boletus variapiis. Found 5 small once by another large oak that has its roots under wood chips next to the foundation, so I was able to get out the whole mushroom without the snap-crack. Will put up the pictures later. I checked the spot that produces what Bill Neill tentatively identified as Boletus pseudosensibilis. Found 4 young specimens. I want to gather more data on it so that we can nail down the ID. I did an ammonia test on it and the cap turned light lime green. NA Boletes states that is should be "blue" for the pseudosensibilis. Here I made up a few pages with pictures and information about this mushroom. The stem and pores turns blue when touched. Cutting the stem or cap produces no staining. Put out caps for a spore print. Also found a couple of Red Chanterelle and what I believe is the same specie of Collybia that had that Collybia Jelly growing on it, in Boylston. See pictures.
7/6 Went out to check on
Jerry's spot in Oxford MA. He said that he left some Chanterelles for me.
He even provided GPS coordinates as to where to find them. He might have
made a mistake typing the coordinates or one of our GPS is not working properly.
Those coordinates were not for the area stated. I found about 10 more
Kings but most were too old to use. They were either wormy or in the
process of liquefying. One was young and firm.
Found a few other kind of bolete including 4 Gilled Bolete. Some look like Xanthoconium species.
7/7 I took a break in processing the mushrooms, I found yesterday, and went out to check the yard and the spot at Jordan Pond where I find the Peach Top Bolete. I want to pick more specimens and study them. Found a Boletus variapiis (75% sure) under a third oak, in the yard. It got from invisible to 6" cap in 48 hours!! There are two in the button stage. I was surprised that it was not touched by worms. It looks like some critter tasted a few pieces out of the top. There were three more under the second oak, next to the foundation, but they looked deformed and wormy so I left them for the critters. There were no new Peach Tops. On the way back I went by a different route, by a fence that separates the school yard from the woods. There I spotted a bolete that fits my fantasy as to how a King should look!! Take a look at the pictures.
7/8 Today I went to Rutland. This is a site that Jerry told me about, about 4 years ago. He has found Kings on this site in the past. I have found many Bicolor Bolete and Lobster Mushrooms here, in the past. I did not find any of these desirable edibles but I found two mushrooms that I have never seen before. Also I found the largest, ever, Bitter Bolete which was not bitter. I read up on the Mushroom Expert that Tylopilus indecisus does not have a club stalk. This one definitely is Tylopilus felleus, then. I cut off half the cap, removed the pores, diced it up and boiled it. later I tasted a couple of pieces. Not bitter. Still later I ate 2 more pieces. After about 1/2 hour I sensed a very slight bitter after taste in my mouth. It was hardly noticeable. I now wonder if the bitter bolete is not bitter if it grows under certain conditions. Say plenty of rain and in the shade? Take a look at the "Brain" and the "Beauty", and tell me if you ever saw these mushrooms and what they are called.
7/9 Took it easy today and only checked the yard where I live. Found one mature Boletus variapiis and a bunch of Hygrophorus Milkys. Plan to test these on Victor :o)
7/10 Heard from Bill Yule, aka Bolete Bill, today and he identified the "Brain" and provided an alternate name for the bolete that Bill Neill identified as B. badius. I updated my web pages. Later in the day I checked the neighbor's yard. Found one small, perfectly shaped Boletus variapiis and several that were under attack by some other fungus. I then went to Grafton where I find a good amount of boletes. Found one B. sensibilis, one X. separans, several Xanthoconium affinis and several Xanthoconium purpureum. Also found a group of stout stem bolete that appear to be some specie of Tylopilus. The pores stained brown when handled. The pores were white. Will update with an ID when I get a spore print, study the spores and track it down in NA Boletes. The rain stopped coming down at regular basis, the air is dry, and the mushroom avalanche stopped.
7/12 Went to Northboro today to check on the Lobster Mushroom patch. Found one in prime condition. Then went to another site and found a mess of Hygrophorus Milky. Also found enough Bicolor Bolete for a mushroom fry. I am always on the lookout to find the deadly Amanita. It is the case of "know thy enemy". I spotted one that might be the Death Cap aka Amanita phalloides. The cap was sticky after being under cup for spore print purposes. Take a look at the pictures.
7/21 Finally we got some rain from a few thundershowers. Went out to Paxton. Near a pond there were quiet a few Russulas. I found a few Gilled Bolete and some polypore and Lactarius. One large Russula attracted my attention. Like some other mushrooms, it appeared to have ripped itself apart due to lack of moisture. The surprise came when I turned it over. It looked like it went crazy in the heat :o) Heat stroke?? It lost its ability to tell the difference between up and down. It started growing caps on the gills.
7/25 Today it was sunny after after about 2" of rain in the past two days. I went and checked on a pile of wood chips in Grafton but did find any Wine Caps or any other mushroom growing on the chips. Went to another site in Grafton but found very few mushrooms. I did find a mushroom that looked like the large one I found in Paxton with the caps growing on the gills. This one also had a tear in the cap and a beginning of a cap on the gills at the tear. I tentatively identified the mushroom as Russula compacta. I also found something I have not seen before, mushrooms growing on what looked like a liquefied Russula or Lactarius.
7/26 Went back to the site to try to get some caps from the Nyctalis asterophora that Noah S. identified. The mushroom clump was dryer today and I managed to pick 4 caps. I first tried to get a spore print rather than trying to get the spores off the top of the caps. The caps did not deposit enough spores for a spore print but there were enough to get some good spore pictures. I was surprised that they were so large considering that the largest cap was about 1" diameter. This was the horniest spores I ever saw :o) Also took a picture of gossamer stemmed mushrooms growing on horse shit, of all things. Take a look at the two pages of pictures.
7/28 Went to Pisgah Woods and checked on the Black Birch from which I harvested my first large Chaga on 2/31/06. Sometime during the past two years a substantial Chaga grew again. I again harvested about 5 pounds of Chaga. The tree does not appear to be dying, more than two years after the first Chaga harvest. Even though we have had over 2" of rain in the past week, the mushrooms are scarce. Saw many Russula compacta and a few Lactarius corrugis.
8/1 Today I started on the quest for the fruiting body of Inonotus obliquus. I went to Pisgah Woods in Northboro and checked Yellow and Black birch along a small brook. There are many trees damaged by Nectria galligena and also infected by Inonotus obliquus. I found one polypore which was growing around where a Chaga used to be, It even looked like it had oblique pores but it did not fit the bill otherwise. I have no idea what it is. Check the pictures.
8/3 Today I went to Grafton to check out a fallen Yellow Birch. I would estimate the birch was blown over by wind about 3 years ago. This is the tree where I found enough Chaga to make my first Chaga tea. On the way I found a few Pale Bolete, some unknown baby brown bolete, Sweet Tooth, and some other large bolete. When I got to the fallen birch I decided to check it out from the bottom to the top. In the three years it has rotted quite a bit. In three more years there will be no bark left. So the information that the tree has to be dead about 6 years before it produces a fruiting body can not be right, since there would be no bark for the fruiting body to crack. I now wonder how much of the information about the fruiting body is fact. I took pictures of every fungus I found growing on the tree and even branches. Take a look at the pictures.
8/5 Found some Bicolor Bolete in the back yard. Went to Northboro and found more. Young once, just coming up. The critters who are wild mushroom connoisseurs, were out in force. Most of the mushrooms were chewed up by the critters. Also found enough Smooth Chanterelle to donate to some Russian friends. I am sure they will enjoy them more than I would. The most common mushroom was the Pale Bolete. Also saw quiet a few Frost's Bolete, Xanthoconium separans, and Chestnut Bolete. There were a few interesting mushrooms.
8/6 Between passing thunderstorms I went about 10' into the backyard woods and saw this brilliant colored mushroom.
8/7 Today I went to Sutton and checked the dairy farmer's corn for corn smut. The ears of corn appear to be not filled out yet. Checked the nearby Tsugae Woods. There were quiet a few Painted Bolete and a colorful Puffball-in-aspic - Calostoma cinnabarina. Overall few mushrooms in that area. Looked a bit dry. There was more rain in the Shrewsbury area so I went out to check my back yard when I got home. Found about half a bag of mushrooms. Discovered a new patch of Red Chanterelle. Found a small Beefstake Polypore - Fistulina hepatica, all kinds of Bolete, and a very large Scaly Tooth. In the afternoon a violent thunderstorm, with hail, went through and dumped over an inch of rain. Other thunderstorms came through later. We have had 2.66" of nitrogen infused rain so far this past week. The Red Chanterelle should grow even larger than the record 3" caps that I picked so far. Pictures.
8/8 Went out and checked on the Ganoderma curtisii on Maple St. Three new fruiting bodies are developing after I removed the previous once. Was surprised to see a new crop of Bicolor Boletes popping out, nearby, under oak. Picked a couple of quarts. Cleaned and boiled them. This gave me an idea of starting a new section which will show what the mushrooms look like after boiling. I think it can be a tool in the identification process.
8/10 Went to a Grafton site with Brian, a member of NE Mushroom Hunters. Found many different Bolete, including Xanthoconium specie and Parasitic Bolete. Also an unusual looking coral.
8/13 It has been raining the last two days so I did not go out. Today the rain took a break and I went out to the Grafton site again. I wanted to check that fallen birch for any signs of the Inonotus obliquus fruiting body. On the way I saw countless old Bicolor Bolete. I checked the younger once. Most of them were wormy. I noticed tiny, hardly visible, flies on the pores. The largest Bicolor had caps of about 10" in diameter. Also noticed something unusual. The caps had very little flesh as compared to a normal Bicolor Bolete. I picked a couple of the Pigskin Puffballs which had Parasitic Bolete attached. I want to see if the boletes will continue to grow if I keep the stem of the puffballs in water.
8/14 Noticed nice looking Bicolor looking mushrooms in a yard. These turned dark blue very fast. I boiled one cap and tried it. It tasted very much like a Bicolor. In the young the flesh was firm and worm free. Take a look at the pictures.
8/16 Started the day by checking for mushrooms around the apartment building. Under a large oak, on the lawn, I found a half dozen Boletus speciosus var. brunneus. See pictures for 8/14. That scientific name is a mouth full. A common name would be useful. It finally dawned on me what that dark caped mushroom I have been finding everywhere. It is the Black Velvet Bolete. I picked about a dozen of them today by Jordan pond. Also found a few Ornate Stalk Bolete and one that I have never seen before - a Crested Polypore. Pictures.
8/19/08 It has not rained
for a couple of days and the ground is getting dry. The boletes are
slowing down their reproduction. I decided to go to Pisgah Woods and check
on the dead and dieing birch for the elusive fruiting body. Did not find
anything that looked like the Inonotus obliquus fruiting body but did find a
whole bunch of interesting mushrooms and critters. Here are mushrooms
growing on horse shit. Now I know how the movable
ring forms on a Parasol Mushroom. I put up a cap for overnight spore print
and in the morning it was black and dissolving. I then knew it was am Inky
Cap of some sort. I found a picture in Lincoff and checked the
descriptions for Bell-cap Panaeolus. It was a fit!
Then I found an Old Man of the Woods that
looked different. It had a lighter cap with spikes only in the center.
Later I found a normal looking Old Man of the Woods. I brought both caps
home and obtained spore prints. Here I show how to
distinguish between the two specie of Old Man of the woods. Here are
two pages of other mushrooms.
In looking beneath the bark of dead birch I found a few interesting critters and fungi.
8/20 Went out on a foray
with a Boston Globe reporter, Tom Haines, and his two photographers. He
had me talking till I started to lose my voice. They took a lot of video
and still pictures. I got the impression that they were pleased with the
results. Tom promised to send me a URL to the page where the article,
photos and video will be displayed. I was wired up for sound and had my
first experience as a movie star :o) I was surprised that I enjoyed it!
Though it was kind of dry, I was able to find some mushrooms to show them. I showed them a Chaga on a birch and gave them some Chaga for tea that I brought from home. I was able to find some Black Trumpets for Tom to take home and try. The hit of the show was when one of them spotted a slime. I gave them the name that Ellen favors, Dog Vomit Slime. I did not know if they want to print that so I gave them the alternate name of Scrambled Egg Slime :o)
8/21 The dry, cool weather
continues. Late in the day I drove up Maple Street, in Shrewsbury, on the
way to the library. I decided to stop in the athletic field and check
under the oaks and beech. I found few mushrooms on the ground but two of
the old rotting beech trees had Northern Tooth aka Climacodon septentrionale
growing on them. I then checked on the stump that produces G. curtisii.
The largest is now about 7" wide. This year the original batch was
apparently discovered by "mushroom kickers" since all 4 fruiting bodies were
dislodged from the stump and ruined. Since then I harvested fruiting
bodies twice and this is the fourth batch produced from the stump. I
checked under the nearby oaks where I found many Bicolor Bolete after a wet
spell. The few bolete I found were dried out. These dry breezes work
almost as well as food dehydrator. See the pictures.
8/23 The Boston Globe published a mushroom article with interviews of many experts who live in the area plus this relative beginner. On the Internet story they included a video of my walk with them. The internet article is on this page:
I do not know how long it will be up at this URL. Here is the printable version of the article which I was able to save to my site.
8/27 I went to check up on silage corn for any sign of corn smut. I did a drive by search of about a mile. No sign of any infected ears of corn. While in that area I went to check out the sphagnum moss bog. I was surprised to find many interesting mushrooms, in spite of the dry weather. I found my first, of the year, Aborted Entoloma. There were many Painted Bolete and other bolete. Cortinarius and Laccaria were everywhere. Pictures.
9/7 It has been bone dry in
the past 10 days, in my neck of the woods. On Friday I saw a clump of
Lanterns pop out on a lawn, where I saw them in the past years. Sensing the
coming rain from Hanna??
In the past 24 hours we got 3.5 of rain in Shrewsbury. It looks like Hanna dumped a lot of rain all along the East Coast. This should jump start the fall mushrooms! They are predicting high winds today so it might be dangerous in the woods where a tree can come down on top of you. It would be interesting to see what other mushrooms popped out in anticipation of Hannas rains. Let the hunt begin!
The wind was not as bad as the weathermen
predicted so I went to my best spot for Hen of the Woods, to see if they are
up yet. Under my champion oak tree I found 6 baby Maitake from about 2 in
diameter to 6 in diameter. Checked a few more oak and found one with 9
baby Maitake up to 5 in diameter. I will go back in 3 or 4 days to harvest
them. By that time I expect to find a few more oaks with Hen under them.
Looks like a record year, to me.
Also found a couple of small clumps of Honey Mushrooms. They too will be ready for picking in 3 or 4 days.
Birch polypore is sprouting on white and grey birch. Picked a half a bag full to try slicing and drying for tea.
9/8 Today I visited my
second best Maitake site. I found 14 mature and mostly rotten Maitake. They
apparently did not mind the dry weather and sprouted before this last rain.
One was growing on the roots of an oak which fell over last year. I do not
know where it found enough water to build a fruiting body that would fill a
regular size shopping bag. It grew so large and heavy that it broke off and
fell to the ground. I found about 5 out of 14 were usable.
After that I checked my third best Maitake site. I found 4 more Maitake. Two were young but the two largest already had a cloud of tiny flies flying around the mushroom caps. I brought them home anyway. I want to introduce them to a couple of large red oak by my apartment building :o)
I am reminding myself to start checking for Maitake starting September 1, no matter how dry it is, next year. Check the pictures.
9/10 Went back to my best spot for Maitake and picked 6 Hen from under the my most productive red oak. They about doubled in size in 4 days. Also the white oak that had 9 under it yielded also 6 with three that were too wormy to use. I found one other white oak that had one large Hen under it. Did not find any Hens by the other infected oak.
9/11 Today I had the King on my mind. I went to Northbridge, where I found a lot of Kings, earlier in the year to check. All I found is 2 Bitter Bolete, which were hardly bitter. I did find some Honey Mushrooms. Some of these had stems more than 1" in diameter, others had normal stems of about 3/8" diameter. Will check to see if they are different specie by comparing spores. Found several dozen mushrooms growing in pine needles. They look a bit like Fat-footed Clitocybe but different from what I found before in a different place. Then there was a complete unknown growing on a rotten log. See pictures.
9/12 I went to Grafton today, primarily to check dead birch for the elusive fruiting body of Inonotus obliquus. I found some Honey Mushrooms, some interesting unknown mushrooms and finally found what I believe to be the elusive fruiting body!! I found it on a dead standing Yellow Birch. The guides describe the fruiting body to be under the bark where it makes cracks in the bark to release its spores. In this case it was more of a tear in the bark rather a crack. The bark split vertically for about 3 feet and then folded away from the trunk. When I pulled away a square foot section of bark, I saw a whitish/gray surface that showed the ends of tubes pointing towards the ground. Here are the first pictures I ever saw of Inonotus obliquus fruiting body, and I had to take them myself :o)
9/13 I decided to go back and get more samples of the fruiting body from the dead birch, since I do not know when I will find such a tree again. This time I was prepared. I brought a hand saw a wood chisel and hammer. I took more pictures and brought 4 large samples home with me. The samples I had out collecting spores on slides collected enough spores to get good pictures and measurements. See the pictures I took today.
9/14 Today I studied
the spores under the microscope. Different spore deposits from
different samples yielded different pictures but the mature spores
consistently measured the same. Here are 2 more
pages of spore pictures from the Inonotus obliquus fruiting body.
Went out and checked the area by Jordan Pond. Found a fresh bolete with a sticky cap. Found a good size Hen. There was a second one growing by a disintegrating stump with it was small and eaten all over by critters. Also found some pretty mushrooms growing on a stump. Took a picture just for the heck of it. See pictures.
9/15 Went to my #1 spot for Hens to see if any new once came up. At the base of my champion red oak a small baby was up. Saw a stout white mushrooms growing at the base of a Fir tree, in the needle duff. One was contorted and had sterile looking gills. Also saw the largest mold I ever saw. It was on the bark of a Fir tree. It climbed the tree for about 15'. At the widest point it was over a foot in width. See the pictures.
9/18 Went to Pisgah Woods in Berlin. On the way there I noticed a Ganoderma growing at the base of a Pignut Hickory. A nice cluster of about 7 caps. Even though they look like G. tsugae this should be G. lucidum since they are on a hardwood tree. I entered from Berlin side to save myself some walking. I had a problem finding the trail head since it was not marked. I asked a Harley man who lives in that area and he gave me the general location of the trail which was in the start up phase and had no markers. I did managed to find it but soon came to a dead end with a swampy area ahead. At that point I was standing thinking what to do when I heard a friendly hello at my back. It was a young lady who was trying to find the same trail. Since she just came off the trail and was trying to find her way back, she was able to help me find the trail I was looking for. This area has many dead birch which have succumbed to either some specie of Nectria or Inonotus obliquus or the combination of the two. I wanted to see if I could find another fruiting body of Inonotus obliquus. Did not find any but I had my GPS with me so I recorded the coordinates of birch snags so that I can check another time. I did find two Black Birch with Chaga on them. I harvested about 5 pounds. Also saw some orange colored fungus on Nectria lesions. Could this be the fruiting body that causes the lesions on birch? See pictures.
9/20 Went and checked for Hen in my #3 spot, in Westboro. Found only one. It was uprooted and dried out. I did find a couple of interesting mushrooms. One was a brown resupinate thing growing on a fallen, dead Hemlock. It was from about 1/2" to 4" wide and several feet long. It was growing on the side and underneath the Hemlock. I pried a couple of samples off with a knife. It appears to be perennial since there are about 5 layers of growth. It did not yield any spores. The other mushrooms that looked different was one that had orange coloration on the caps that looked like spore deposit, but was not. It was growing in a cavity of a red oak. It might be that the color from the oak discolored the mushroom caps. Take a look at the pictures.
9/21 Went to the
sphagnum bog in Oxford. While getting ready to head out into the woods
I felt a tongue licking my hand. Turned our to be a dog that looked
like a cross between a German Shepherd and a Collie. A nearby resident
was following the dog with a walking stick. It turns out he found my
favorite walking stick that I lost last year.
I found 2 interesting mushrooms in the bog. There were a handful of Hedgehog mushrooms, with the largest having a cap measuring 5.5". The other was a small Entoloma with a cap of 1.25". It looked different from anything that I found before. The unusual thing about it was that the hollow stem was grass green on the inside. Pictures.
9/24 Went to Northboro to check on the champion Hen tree and the small Hen I saw there on 9/15. It grew from 4" to 10". It was still young but I harvested it since rain is coming and that might cause it to mold. Under the fir tree where I found white, firm, gilled mushrooms I found about 2 dozen more in the button stage. I still could not get spore prints off these. They have a bulbous base and narrow gills with thick flesh. The smell is not appetizing. I will go back and pick more after the coming Nor'easter. Also found an interesting polypore growing off buried wood. The new cap grew off a last year's cap. Pictures.
9/25 Wanted to check on the Yellow Birch that produced the two Inonotus obliquus fruiting bodies, to see if they have disappeared in the 13 days since I discovered them. No, they were still there, so the information that they are quickly dispatched by critters is not true. In fact there was a third fruiting body! There is signs that these are under attack by the white mold that I saw there the first time.
9/27 The rain slowed down for a while so I decided to go to the Fungus Fair in Athol. I went to Maple Street to pick a new Ganoderma curtisii in a bud stage. I also found what I believed to be a large King growing on a lawn. I wanted to bring the Ganoderma mushroom, in different stages of growth, and show them to Elinoar Shavit, who is an expert on medicinal mushrooms. I wanted to see if she agreed with Bill Neill's ID of G. curtisii. I also brought one of the samples of what I identified as Inonotus obliquus fruiting body and hoped that she would give me her opinion on it. She came late and was soon scheduled to give her talk on Morel. I was tired and decided I did not want to wait another hour or two just to talk to her, so I went home. Pictures.
9/28 The rain let up a
bit and I went and checked the Spruce grove in N. Grafton to see if I could
find some Kings. I found a couple mature once and two young once.
This is the same place where I found the King that appears on the NE
Mushroom Hunters home page. One of the young Kings was a beauty.
It looks like fat baby. I gave these 4 Kings for my Russian friends to
try. I will be interested to hear their opinion as to how they liked
them as compared to the Kings that they ate in Russia.
I then decided to check the site in Northbridge where I found a mess of Kings earlier in the year. I found about 20 but only 5 were usable for human consumption. Pictures.
9/29 From 9/26 through 9/29 we have had 2.6" of rain, according to my rain gauge. This should kick start the Fall mushroom season. I just brought out the trash and noticed 3 Shaggy Mane Mushrooms popping out in the back yard. Shrewsbury weather station reports 6.7" of rain for this month so far.
9/30 It looks like the Hen fruiting is done for the year in my neck of the woods. The Dotted Stalk Suillus is everywhere. I never saw so many fruiting at the same time. In some parts they are so thick it is hard walking without stepping on some. I thought that a sign saying "Caution! Slippery forest floor." would be appropriate :o) The Shaggy Mane mushrooms trebled in size overnight. The caps were still closed so I picked 3, cooked them, and ate them. Yum good. I checked on the white buttons to see what they turned into. They now remind me of the mushroom that I first found growing in a ferry ring, in Fall of 2002. At that time Milton, of BMC, identified them as Giant Clitocybe aka Clitocybe gigantea. I think this is the same mushroom. They are growing in a circular arc. See the pictures.
10/2 Started off the day by checking the back yard. The one Shaggy Mane I left to grow is now about 6" high. Found a pile of leaves with about 4 Blewit growing in them. Then I saw something that I never saw before, a Sticky Squid! Then I went to Grafton. Saw Aborted Entoloma growing at the base of a dead Ash. Saw a bunch of mushrooms that looked a bit like Jack O Lantern but different. They were more yellow than orange and had a hint of a ring on the stalk. Also saw a square foot size Tapioca Slime growing on a Maple. On another Maple I saw what looked like some specie of Ganoderma. I then went to the site of the Yellow Birch to see how the fruiting body weathered the 3"+ of rain we have had. It was pretty much all there. Saw some handsome LBMs growing on an oak. Then I saw something else I never saw before. On the forest floor there were large patches of what looked like sprouting grass like fungus?? See pictures.
10/3 A neighbor called my attention to interesting mushrooms growing by his back window. They turned out to be Revenel's Stinkhorn and eggs. I got the latest picture of the Shaggy Mane that looked so good yesterday. Also updated picture of the mushrooms which I tentatively identified as White-egg Bird's Nest. I am now 90% sure of my ID. Hope to get another picture when the membrane breaks and the eggs are visible. Pictures.
10/4 Went to Moore State Park and looked for Hens under large oak. None found. Found a large Trich and what I believe is a Fragrant Armilaria thought I think it should be called Stinky Armilaria. At Walkup I found what I believe is a small clump of baby Honey Mushrooms. Pictures.
10/6 Went to Northbridge today to see if I could find more Kings. Found about 25 with 11 usable. That definitely was the best King year since I started hunting 6 years ago. The cool days and cold nights resulted in Kings that are worm free, even old specimens. I got a couple of old timers that had about 8" caps and they were completely worm free. I will dry this batch for the winter. Also found some Honey Mushrooms growing on a stump and odd colored Amanita muscaria. Pictures
10/14 Have not had appreciable rain in about 2 weeks. Things are dry. Mushrooms are scares to non-existent. When to the bog in Oxford today. All I saw is two or three Russulas and two bunches of Honey Mushrooms growing at the base of a Hemlock. If we do not get some rain soon I would call this the end of the mushroom season in my neck of the woods. This was a memorable mushroom year.
10/21 They are
predicting some appreciable rain. Went out to see if I could find some
fungus that might have popped out in the anticipation of the coming rain.
Decided to explore the Pisgah Mountain forest from the Berlin side.
Beside exploring I set a goal of finding some Chaga and or the Inonotus
obliquus fruiting body. I explored new trails. I brought my GPS.
There is about 4,000 acres in this parcel with many interconnecting trails.
Very easy to get lost. A GPS eliminates the worry of remembering what
turns to take to get back to where I started. The trails were covered
with a thick blanket of fallen leaves.
At the beginning I went through a large grove of pine. It looked like a promising spot to look for Kings next year. Eventually I got higher up the mountain and discovered a large grove of Black Birch. Many were damaged by the Nectria fungus. I started checking the individual birch. Found one with a few Late Fall Oysters on it. Another had a growth that looked a bit like Chaga but was not. Also found a Black Birch snag that had Chaga growing in a Nectria lesion plus it had vertically split bark, an indication that it might have the fruiting body underneath. Take a look at the pictures.
10/23 It has been drizzling for over 24 hours. Total rainfall of 1/10"! I checked during the drizzle and saw more Blewits coming up in the leaf pile, in the back yard. Today I harvested 13. Surprising how little rain it took. Also found what I believe is Giant Clitocybe on yard litter that neighbors dump in the woods. If only we got some descent rain, we could still be picking mushrooms. Pictures.
10/24 Today it got down 24 degrees. First killing frost of the year is about 2 weeks early.
10/26 Finally some measurable rain! We dot 1.6" of rain overnight.
10/27 The pile of oak leaves produced 8 more Blewits. In Northboro I found some Late Fall Oysters, 2 Dotted Stalk Suillus and a couple of Brick Tops.
11/1 Yesterday morning we had killing frost again, but the day warmed up to lower 60s so I went to Northbridge and took a walk. Found a few Dotted Stalk Suillus and one small King. The king was still usable but the Suillus was zapped by frost and old.
11/2 Here in central MA we have got about 1.5 of rain toward the end of September but the killing frost came early this year. It has gone down to 24 two of the past three nights. There is still some chance of finding mushrooms that come out after frost but they will be few of those compared two what we got earlier this year. Even so, I plan to go out every so often so long as there is no snow on the ground. There is always hope for an Indian Summer :o) This is the time of the year I stock up on Chaga.
11/4 Mushrooms continue to surprise me. Even though the
temperature dipped to 21 yesterday morning I found two Blewits this
morning in the back yard leaf pile. They are well camouflaged in the
oak leaves so they are hard to spot. One that I did not see for several
days developed into a 5.5 cap.
I explored a new trail in the Berlin part of Mt. Pisgah woods, today. Then I went to the Black Birch grove which I found last time there. Just about 40 from the Black Birch snag, where there was a dead Chaga, I found about a 2 diameter living Black Birch with one of those narrow but long Chaga. At the widest point it was about 6 but it went up the tree for about 5. I brought a wood chisel and hammer in my backpack. I filled my backpack with Chaga but there was still some left on the tree. When I came home I weighed it and it was 15#. There is at least 5# more on that tree. I plan to go again and get the rest. That should be enough to get me through the winter :o)
11/7 The Blewits stopped popping out of the oak leaf pile. It could be because they felt that they reproduced enough this year or they quit because the yard crew added more leaves to the pile. I read that mushroom mycelium produces fruiting bodies only when it starts to run out of food. With this addition of leaves (food) the mycelium might have just switched to growing more mycillium.
11/9 Went to Marconi Station site on Cape Cod. Met 3 Polish mushroom hunters who had 2 shopping bags and 2 5 gallon cans full of mushrooms. Since they claimed that they spoke no English or Russian, I was not able to pump them for information. Their mushrooms did not look appetizing to me since they were covered with sand. It will take a great deal of rinsing to get that sand out of the mushrooms. It looks like the picked Canary Trich and some other specie of Tricholoma. Take a look at the pictures.
11/12 With the
rain tomorrow and Saturday, the Oysters should continue to pop.
Several people, in the discussion group, are reporting finding Pleurotus
ostreatus on Maple trees.
I checked large Maples on Maple Street in Shrewsbury, today, but saw none. Then I rode out to Berlin to get more Chaga and kept a lookout along the way. None. They are hiding from me. I got 7.5 # of Chaga though :o) I plan to go out to Rutland after the coming rain.
I did find many interesting polypores growing on a dead, fallen Black Birch. The largest was about 3 and the smallest about ½. They had a fuzzy dark chocolate tops, white pores and a short stalk ½ to 1. The stalks were a bit off center but not as dark as the caps. I have the caps down for a spore print. It looks like it might be Black-footed Polypore aka Polyporus badius? I never found this one before.
11/13 With everyone reporting finding Oyster mushrooms, I decided to make a quick trip to an abandoned farm which has been turned into conservation land, before the rains came. I noticed a few old Sugar Maples on that site. I found no Oysters on the maples but I did find my first, ever, Pleurotus ostreatus growing on what looked like a White Ash or Box Alder in someone's yard, not far from this Westboro farm. The largest caps were about 8". A bit old but not wormy. I approached the tree with my camera, first. When no one yelled or shouted or even questioned me, I came back with a knife and a bag to bag some oysters. Pictures.
11/15 Went back to Berlin and took more pictures of the Winter Polypore. Noah has it right, it is not a Black-footed Polypore as I identified it. I looked at quite a few Black Birch. Got Chaga off one of the trees. Found two Black Birch snags with signs of old Inonotus obliquus fruiting body. I checked the broken off tops, that were lying on the ground and found no sign of fruiting bodies on those. The day was dark and drizzly so the pictures did not come out well.
11/16 I checked the oak leaf pile for possible Blewit but saw none. It was cold and windy today. I saw one small, delicate mushroom shaking in the wind. I picked it, went inside the car and took some pictures.
11/19 Today I received the initial confirmation on my find of the fruiting body of Inonotus obliquus, from Daniel L. Lindner of the National Forest Service Mycology Lab in Wisconsin. You can read his message to me on this page where I kept a record of trying to have the find confirmed. His message is toward the bottom of the page.
11/27 We have had about 4 days of temperatures of 32 or less and then we got 2.5" of rain yesterday. Today it was partly sunny and the temperature of about 42. On 11/15 I found two Black Birch snags with signs that there were Inonotus obliquus fruiting bodies on them this year or last year. The photos did not came out clear so I made a return trip. The pictures came out better. Also found a jelly fungus and a mold. At this time of the year it is a surprise to find any fungus. They fit in the interesting category.
11/28 This morning I went to take trash out to the dumpster and decided to check on the pile of oak leaves that produced Blewits this year. They are hard to spot since their tan color blends well with the dry leaves. I have to stand and look carefully at any raised part of leaves. Lo and behold I saw 4 mature caps just barely sticking out of the leaves. The top of the caps was covered with a thin coat of ice. The mushrooms felt frozen to the touch. I saved the youngest for a spore print and the remaining 3 I stuck under the new pile of leaves that the ground crew made apposite my apartment. The start of Blewit farming?
11/29 Went out to Berlin again. Found about 10 Black Birch snags that look like good candidates for Inonotus obliquus fruiting bodies, next year. Found one Chaga worth harvesting. Found a mess of mature puffballs at the base of an old Sugar Maple snag. They still were puffing spores when squeezed. Took some and will try to ID. Also found some interesting looking resupinate polypores on a 5" diameter dead Black Birch. I was able to peel off the outer skin of the birch with the polypores attached.
12/1 One inch of rain yesterday and this morning. Today it got up to 55, with little wind. It was a great day for a walk in the woods. I explored the Black Birch grove in Berlin. Found one more Black Birch with remains of a I. obliquus fruiting body.
12/13 Continuing my correspondence with Dan Lindner. Through him I found out that Leif Ryvarden does have the Inonotus obliquus fruiting body in the collection at the University of Oslo, Norway but he does not say if he ever found one. I was surprised to learn that in Norway the fruiting body only appears the first year after the birch dies and never again. Here in MA it appears that the fruiting body does not appear until the tree is dead for several years, loses all branches, and the top part of the trunk snaps off. More detailed information can be found on my History of confirmation page.
12/14 Today it got into the 40's after the ice storm on Thursday and Friday. Worcester and points west and north got hit bad. In Shrewsbury we had some power outages but not as bad as in other places. At my place the lights blinked off and on a couple of times. We did get 4.3" of rain on Thursday and Friday. I went to Grafton and checked how the remaining I. obliquus is holding up. All the rain and ice did wash away some of it but there is still quite a bit of it left. So the information that beetles destroy it in a short order is not true. There will be very little of it left by spring, though.
Found some interesting, small, puffball like mushrooms on a dead and rotten maple stump about 9" in diameter.
12/28 Today it got into the 60's and most of the 2' of snow melted in the past several days, January thaw in December! Went for a drive and did drive by mushrooming for Oysters. Did not see any.
12/31 Precipitation for the month 5.5". This year was memorable for all the King Bolete in the Northeast and my finding the true fruiting body of Inonotus obliquus. Now to find a new specie to science...
Mushrooming Log 2007
Mushrooming Log 2006
Mushrooming Log 2005
Mushrooming Log 2004