Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Fairy rings and other things

Now I have seen fairy rings before, but I have never seen chanterelles growing that way until today. I was walking up a small draw between two hills and this is what I found just over the rise - an almost perfect circle of orange.

There were a few in the middle but the majority of them were growing around the edges in the classic mushroomy pattern. They were so pretty and my basket was already filled that I left them behind, well not all, I did pick a few giants like this one below. It was nearly 6 inches across.

Most of the chants I am picking are smooth chanterelles which I am finding in very large patches that I have been hunting for almost 7 years. Often times in between patches, I will find small groups of common yellow chanterelles, and I am seeing those again.

But what is new this year is that I am finding medium sized patches of chants that are very similar in stature and ridges to the yellows, except they are orange, more like the color of the smooth chants. And the patches I am finding them in are right next to the smooth patches I have hunted for years. Yet I have never seen these before. Someone suggested that they were the peach chanterelle, unfortunately the only way you can discern the peach from the yellow is by looking at the spores and I don't feel like dragging out a microscope quite yet. It's always good to have a little mystery.

Here are a couple photos of the potential peach chants. They are a little paler orange compared to the vibrant color of the smooth chants.

And here is a comparison shot so you can see the color difference compared to the common yellows.


Pigmonger said...

I found the absolute MOTHER LODE today, hundreds, I mean HUNDREDS, in a single huge patch about 75' around. They were quite different from the famous Rock Bridge ones we've been gathering--these were HUGE, many 6" across, many quite gnarly and convoluted, and much more friable than the other ones. Once again my whole house smells like chanterelles. What a pleasure!

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

I went out with the Bay Area Mycological Society yesterday and collected some lovely chanterelles, as well as some other goodies. A nice diversion on the week after xmas!