a day late ~

Seems to be the story of my life ... a day late and a dollar short.  Oh well ... nothing much I can do about the dollar; but I could have been a day or two sooner with the oyster mushroom.  At least, I think it was a oyster.  I really need to find someone local who knows about them, so I can learn and pick them with confidence :)

I was out riding the trails in the woods the other day on the four-wheeler ... looking for mushrooms ... but not really in the picking mode.  I was just curious as to what's around.  I came across this maple tree with these:

Being too lazy to get off the ATV and investigate closer ... I just gave them a quick look and decided they were young artist conk mushrooms.  I snapped off a photo.  After getting home I looked closer and realized those aren't artist conks... they have a stem coming up from the bottom attached to the tree.  Why didn't I get off and check for gills?

I did see some artist conks and some pretty cool lichen and moss growing on this old, snagged up, broken down poplar tree just around the corner in the trail:

I'll have to keep an eye on those and see how big they get. 

I also found some more honey mushrooms but didn't pick them, as I have enough of those already.  I put up 16 pints from our last picking.

It was nice finding them in our woods though.  They were a little far along already and getting mushy; but there is always next year.  The deer and bear will get to eat them up this year.

I also came across some others that I don't know the names of offhand; but I'm sure if I dig around in my mushroom books I could identify them.  Until then - I'm not picking them! 

Rambo - our resident hound dog was all agitated ...

 ... ahhhh ... there's the reason - the young wild turkeys are using my mulch pile as a dusting bowl ~

They were rolling around in the wood chips and flapping themselves like crazy.
Nothing like a dry wood chip bath.

Okay... back to that "is it or isn't it an oyster mushroom" ... I was telling Slim about it today and he said let's take a ride and show it to me.  It was still there.

He picked the top one off ~
It sure looked a lot bigger in his hand than it did just growing on the tree.  Flip over ... sure enough ... there's the gills you look for on a oyster mushroom ~ white, long and extending all the way down to the wood where it was attached.  It has the characteristics of what my mushroom book "says" an oyster mushroom should be; BUT ...

It was no longer fresh and white like it was two days ago; and I'm still not 100% positive that this is an oyster mushroom so it won't be getting eaten by me... or Dear Hubby.  I REALLY need to take a class or go on one of those nature hikes with someone who REALLY knows what's what in the Mycological World.  I have a LOT more studying on the subject before I can harvest with confidence.

The honey mushrooms that we pick ~ we have always picked in the same area for the last 5 years ... we know "those mushrooms" in that spot and feel good about picking and eating them.  We also know three other people that pick "those same mushrooms" and they are all alive and well .. and they put them up the same way that I do. 

I also feel very good about harvesting and eating the giant puffball mushrooms, moral, hen of the woods and chicken mushrooms from the wild.  So we'll continue doing that ... but gosh ... there sure are a lot of mushrooms out there that I want to learn about.  I'm really excited about next spring and starting my own shiitake mushroom logs and possibly some button mushrooms and oyster plugs from a kit ~ so I KNOW those will be safe to eat.  We have grown the buttons before; but they are rather pricey buying the kits. 

But the thrill of finding them in the wild ~ ahhh... that's what I really want to learn.

I always tell Dear Hubby, "eat today, I'll try them tomorrow". I joke about it; but I would REALLY feel rotten if something happened.  So, in the meantime ~ we'll remain very cautious when it comes to consuming wild mushrooms. 

Until next time ...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


  1. So I see you're on the hunt again. I haven't had the chance to get back to the woods, but the rain we had should have produced something to check out. The one Slim is holding does look like an Oyster, but I thought they grew on the ground, no, that's the Lobsters. The Orange ones on the log are Jelly Mushrooms of some kind, not too appetizing. Would have to look up the red one again. Let's take a hike. Look at the end of Mom's driveway for Lobsters. Dad and I found them there years ago. Happy hunting~~~the joke really wouldn't be so funny if someone actually got sick eating from the wild. Have you ever done a spore count? Caution Is a good thing.

  2. I never cease to be amazed at the knowledge of the Flora. You guys are the best. Mushrooms scare me, 'cept the ones in the store or can. hahaha! My mama was afraid of picking mushrooms, so we never did.

    Slim is a smart dude, he ain't the emperors taster!!!! hahahaha

    Love you guys this system is up and down again tonight. I'm off and on.

    Love from Bangor.....

  3. Oh Mel, if you ever come across someone giving lessons on Mushroom picking PLEASE let us know. We would LOVE to learn more about them as well.
    'love & hugs from afar'

  4. Mel, smart cookie...don't you or hubby eat anything until you KNOW for sure what it is! The folks I walk with here are planning a mushroom identification walk which would be nice! Nice to meet you, by the way!...:)JP


    My dad was a mycologist and people used to send him slides of mushrooms to identify. But he apparently picked the wrong mushroom early on, on Day Two of his honeymoon with my mom, and they threw up for days. At least she got an idea what she was getting into.