A Late Mushroom Season

I spent Veteran’s Day on a Mushroom Foray with the South Sound Mushroom Club. It was a good sized group of people of all ages, from babies to toddlers and elementary schoolers to parents and us seniors. I must confess I have forgotten much of what I learned in the workshop I took last fall. And yet it was mostly very familiar, the baskets and knives, the large classifications of gilled mushrooms, polypores, boletes, puffballs, jelly-like and cup fungi.

There weren’t as many as I remembered from last year. The leader said that mushroom season is about six weeks late this year, because the rains were so late. And now with the arrival of frosty temps the season will soon be cut short. Nevertheless there were some wonderful finds on our fungi scavenger hunt! We were given whistles and orange vests and taught the whistle signals: once to alert others of a find, twice to call a leader over for a look and ID, and thrice for an injury that needed help.

South Sound Mushroom Clubbers at Millersylvania State Park

Did I say that there was a bit of rain at first, but you can see here how well dressed-for-the-woods this Pacific Northwest gang was.

Back at the outdoor kitchen shelter everyone laid out their bounty, and those who knew how worked on IDing the different samples: polyspores, chanterelles, jelly fungi, boletes, lobsters, earthstars. There were several school age children whose knowledge was impressive. I picked out the beauties I wanted to sketch and was satisfied with the day!
fine liner pen, watercolor and white gel pen in beige toned Nova Sketchbook

My absolute favorite was an Earthstar, which bears a striking resemblance to a cross between a snicker doodle and Hersey kiss cookie. And the cool thing about it is if you squeeze the top, it comes alive and puffs out spore from its point!

So the Earthstars, seen here in various stages of development became the star of the day! And they also gave me ideas for holiday cookie baking.

Oh, you probably think I mean the psychedelic kind! Naw, just the chocolate buttery kind.


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