Saturday, October 16, 2010

Things Found in Forests

While I would have liked to have spent a fair amount of time in the woods of the Illinois Valley foraging for various edibles, I didn't have the opportunity for a few reasons. First being how remarkably dry the area was at this time which tends to make conditions difficult for mushroom growth.

The other reason why I didn't spend a great deal of time in the woods was harvest season. This particular region of Southern Oregon has been known for years as being a pot growers haven. And while mushroom picking might not be prime, weed harvesting is very productive.  The changing social dynamics and the economics of drug culture have pushed growing ventures to much more challenging feats of chemistry. The meth culture of this region has waxed and waned in recent years in the majority of the state, but here you can see the impacts of this nasty drug very clear.

Sooo....because I am not too fond of being shot by drug dealers in the wilderness, I decided I would not wander through the woods looking for things for dinner. However, at the rare instances I did have a chance to look at the fungi growth, I took these pictures.

No idea what this just looks cool.

Pretty certain, the picture above is of a mastutake. However, given I don't know this species with absolute certainty, I left it in the woods.

This one is a lobster mushroom. Basically a fungal parasite on a russula mushroom. Pretty easy to identify, but I am not a fan. I left this one behind.

And finally, these are Angel Wings, if I have my identification correct. These are closely related to the oyster mushrooms you can find commercially.  The pickings of these were way too sparse to make a meal so I left these behind as well.

I did find one single chanterelle. Kind of sad, but still kind of rewarding. And I didn't get shot.

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