Friday, June 19, 2009

Black Trumpets - Heralds of Summer

Work found me in Springfield yesterday morning and on the drive home I decided to take a short walk out at Ha Ha Tonka to see if I could scare up chanterelles of any kind.

There were a few common yellow, cinnabars, even some yellow footed. Picked about a pound of all these mixed colors. Then I hit the black trumpet patches, which were up in full force. I picked my share of these and in an hour I was on my way with enough to last me the rest of the week. The black trumpets I picked were Craterellus conrnucopioides. Check out for a full description.

They are also up around Columbia. Jon found a different type craterellus foetidus in Rock Bridge State Park this week. You can tell the difference becuase the standard black trumpet in the first photo had a smooth underside. C. foetidus on the other hand, has wrinkles like a common chanterelles, though they are much more shallow.

You can find a good description of them as well on MushroomExpert; however, at least in Mid-MO you can ignore Kuo's comment about C cornucopiodes not growing in tight clusters. Many I found yesterday were fields of clusters of at least 4-5 mushrooms, though usually, like Kuo says, they are found in two's and three's. When you find a patch stop, look, and step very carefully, more than likely they'll have you surrounded.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

June mushrooms and hunts

Sorry it has been so long since my last post. I have been too busy with life to focus much on mushrooms. But reports have been trickling in of first chickens and now chanterelles. Even had one report of black trumpets found down by the Lake.

Jon was out this week in Rock Bridge and came across some nice fresh chanterelle buttons, as you can see from the photo. So, I'll be out and about seeing what I can find.

For all of you who were interested in a hunt. I was thinking of having one out at Rock Bridge next weekend (probably on 6/20). For those of you who have said you were interested already, you will be getting an email shortly. Anyone else who is intersted, please email me and I will send you the details.

If you are wanting to learn more about how to identify edible mushrooms or just mushrooms in general, there are a couple of Mid-MO events that you may want to mark on your calendars and check out.

The first is a mushroom foray out at Ha Ha Tonka State Park on June 26 through June 28. It is sponsored by the Missouri Mycological Society. No cost to participate but they encourage you to join the club, which is well worth the $15 a year membership. I attended last year and not only did the group find and identify almost 200 varieties of fungus, but I came home with a fine share of chanterelles, black trumpets, and a few other mixed edible mushrooms as well. They are good folks and if you want to learn more about mushrooms and taste some incredible mushroom recipes (did I mention that many members have a guormet-like touch when it comes to camp cooking) you cannot beat this trip. For more information click here.

A little further down the road but closer to home, Jon and I will be hosting a mushroom class out at Rock Bridge State Park in the fall. The date is September 26 and will consist of a classroom session where we will talk about basic mushroom families and show some examples. Then after lunch (optional), we plan to go on a short hike and foray to see if we can turn up any good fall specimen. More information will soon be available here and on the Missouri State Parks website.

Summer mushrooms have started, so get back out there and please let me know if you find anything.