We went out for a hike in the woods the other day, and were driving up one of the zillions of gravel forest roads, when Stephanie said “Look, there’s mushrooms down there…” And so there were; some twenty pounds of chanterelles were picked in less than an hour. And they’re all dried, canned and frozen now. But the real highlight was this amazing mushroom I found growing on a tree stump:
The most intensely vivid red giant mushroom I’ve ever seen. And I don’t remember ever seeing one at our annual Mushroom Festival. It was almost two feet across. This was shot with Stephanie’s phone camera, so it’s not as sharp as it ideally would be. Any mycologists here?
This looks toxic to me, but I’m no expert and no lover of fungi (edible or not).
This is sort of a stretch to put in CC but no more of a stretch than starting with mushrooms. The young guys who started Ecovatine Design create high performance biomaterials grown from mycelium (mushroom roots) and agricultural waste. Among the products they are working on are auto parts that will replace styrofoam and are biodegradable.
I have been fascinated with everything about this company for some time. It was founded by two guys fresh out of college. Bet other CC readers will be too.
I read about them a couple of years ago, in the New Yorker, I think. And on a similar note, a guy nearby at Oregon State came up with the idea of using the “glue” that holds holds barnacles and such to rocks in the ocean as an organic alternative to glue/adhesives, like used in plywood and OSB, with no off-gassing of any kind. I think it’s become commonly used.
Wow what a haul! Longtime lurker here, funny that mushrooms is what finally brought me out of the woodwork. It’s nice to see people in the US mushroom ‘hunting.’ It’s a huge pastime in Russia, particularly rural areas. I used to go mushroom picking with my grandpa in Altai (south-central Siberia). We’d take his 1987 Izh 2125 Kombi on forest roads to his favorite spots, I’d usually end up with more mosquito bites than mushrooms, but he’d come back with bucket-fulls. Here’s that Kombi shortly before my grandfather gave up his license, in 2006.
There’s a hierarchy of offroad capability in Russia amongst Soviet iron: When out mushroom picking, the Ladas ground out first, then Moskvitches, finally it’s only Zaporozhets (ZAZ 966 and the like) that make it deepest into the woods.
Welcome, Sir, I am very sure that all the posters here at CC would love to hear about things from the Russian perspective.
Please comment more, or even better post!
Here’s my brother wrenching on my dad’s 1972 ZAZ 966, with the up-rated 40hp 1.2L V4, and exhaust welded up from stainless steel left over from the construction of Akademgorodok’s particle accelerator (my dad was a physicist there before we moved to the US). Such was life in a command economy. He also has stories of standing in line with my mom to get tires for the car, 2 per person as per the rationing ticket!
The garage is part of a large complex of hundreds grouped together, where soviet men used to spend their weekends wrenching. Each garage is basically a repair shop, there’s a pit in each one, the lower level holding spare parts and tools, and below the lower level there was a root cellar where people kept their potatoes, cabbage, beets, and homemade canned goods.
Very popular pastime up here in the North West. And since our rain started early this year, they’re out like mad now.
There’s a good chance brightly coloured mushrooms are poisonous,I’m no expert on them but I wouldn’t risk eating it until I knew more about it.
I stick strictly to the very few varieties that I know with certainty. That red one is definitely not one of them!
Wow, you might see Jerry Garcia after eating that.
AND Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix
We have a local Morel mushroom festival every year – prices are sometimes ridiculously high per pound. Folks fry them in butter – it’s like eating a prime cut of steak!
We used to pick them on a friend’s farm in Iowa. They’re not as common out here, but one year three or four huge and perfect Morels popped up through the gravel driveway at one of my rentals that I was working on at the time. Yummm.
Chanterelles are super good like that too; I learned to love them from my dad, who always kept an eye out for them and Porcini on our hikes in Austria.
You guys are nuts for eating wild mushrooms. Uh-uh. No way for me. I’ll listen to you about cars, but mushroons? I would trust Mother Theresa if she said they were safe.
Chantrelles are a staple around here. My landlord just picked over 70 pounds on his last excursion. They taste fantastic. Just take a good handbook with you to know what you’re doing, and if there is any doubt leave it be.
I love mushrooms, and love Chantrelles, though they are kinda pricy, but so worth it in certain dishes, as are Oyster mushrooms.
For most things, it’s the garden variety Crimini that I buy over the regular white buttons found at the store, and neither are more expensive than the other, usually.
Saute them up, and add to whatever you are eating, Yum!
Nice haul there Paul, and I’d love to learn a bit about ‘shrooms and go foraging for them sometime.
Gonna have to start taking the F100…
That red thing looks seriously evil….if you find out what it is please let us know.
I think it’s a Chicken of the Woods (Laetiporus).
If so (and I’m no expert) that would be a young, medium-sized example, though the red coloration is a bit beyond the orange-y color most of them have.
Paul, do you know what kind of tree it was growing on? Is that at the base of a tree, on a stump, on a down log?
If anyone else has a clue, chime in!
I believe that shroom is called the “red lobster”…and it is edible and considered quite pleasant to eat (if it’s a red lobster).
Initially I thought the trunk content was some decoration from the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s house.
I photographed this specimen a couple of days ago. No idea what it is, other than big. Note the quarter for size comparison.
I’ve never seen such quantities nor varieties of fungi in the woods as there are this year. The warm dry summer and not-all-that-wet-or-cool fall must be just what they need to thrive.
Man, I really hate internet preachy-types, but…
You really should cut those chanterelles above the growth node because, as it’s only mid-October (and you’re in Oregon…Cascade foothills?) they would likely have produced at least another partial crop.
The red fella sort of looks like I lobster to me, as well. Not sure though.
Sh*t howdy do I miss picking mushrooms in Oregon!
You’re quite right. We had one knife, and about half were cut that way. From what I’ve heard, the woods are spilling with them this year. But next time I’ll be more diligent about that.