Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Mushrooms in January?

I mentioned that if you keep an eye out, you might be lucky enough to come across some oysters. Well sure enough I was driving along and spotted a familiar shape at the foot of a tree off the side of the road.

I pulled over and took a few photos of the clusters.

A closer view...
the underside of one...

They are browner than I normally find and they were very, very waterlogged from a full night of thunderstorms, so I didn't pick any to bring home. I still am not 100% certain they were oysters since I could not take a spore print. Even if they were they were, I still probably would have left them since they were a little older than I like. Check out for more specifics about oyster mushrooms.

At first I thought they were clusters of honey mushrooms (
Armillaria mellea) which are found around here in late summer and fall. [see for more information on honey mushrooms]. Upon closer inspection they were missing the rings around the stalks and other tell-tale signs of honeys. I have been told by other hunters that oysters often look like honeys after they freeze once or twice.

It just goes to show you that a few warm days and a little moisture
(or in this case a lot) and you can satisfy your taste for wild mushrooms even in the dead of winter.

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