All posts in category Wild Mushrooms
Posted by Sharon on January 12, 2016
I had not intended to blog about Florida again because we are, as usual, spending the winter here. The biggest treat is having time with family.
Unfortunately, I had to do a factory reset on my phone and haven’t downloaded all the photos yet. I’m waiting for our next data cycle. So there will be no photos to share of the lovely 80 degree Christmas celebrated in shorts at Gail’s screened porch.
So I’ll just share my available photos taken at random, and let the captions tell the story…. which is, it’s CHILLY down here now!
BTW, our water pump went out and our toilet needs replacing. I have them ordered and Gail and I will do the mods when we get back to her house in a week or so.
Posted by Sharon on January 10, 2016
I was outside when the sun was too high, so I hope you enjoy the subjects of the photos. The pictures themselves aren’t great.
I suppose first I’ll tell you the adventure part, as the photos are pretty self-explanatory. I set out toward the back of our property, heading toward the area that is the best mushroom habitat around, by a little steep-banked creek. I never made it that far. There were many blowdowns, thick underbrush, hills and a steep ravine. I didn’t make it back that far, either!
I did make it a few hundred steeply sloped feet. I found several varieties of LBM’s (little brown mushrooms) that the experts have difficulty identifying. I also found a couple of medium tan-colored mushrooms that I intended to try to identify when I got back to the house. And several tiny orange mushrooms that looked a little chanterellish, but it’s way too early for them. They went in my bag to identify, too.
(But — pink ladyslippers are blooming! They were my consolation prize.)
Anyway, I got very tired and out of breath, so decided I’d better head (uphill) home. I climbed one little ridge, and that was it. I sat down on a thick cushion of forest duff and hyperventilated for a while.
I was going to stay there until I recuperated, but then I heard some of the dogs that run free around here sounding like they were fighting. That REALLY scared me, so I bushwacked over blowdowns, greenbrier, blackberry bushes, sapling trees… until I couldn’t go any farther.
This time I found a nice log to sit on. I beat on it with my hiking pole and prodded around to make sure there were no nasty critters under it, sat down, and the log cracked and sent me tumbling.
So I phoned Ron and told him where I was and asked him to bring me my inhaler. After using that, I felt better. And after resting a while, we made it home.
Exhausted, I threw the mushrooms I had planned to identify in the trash, too tired to mess with them, and crashed for a long nap.
So, apparently the COPD is getting worse… which means stick to easy trails and always carry my inhaler.
Before I headed into the woods I saw a couple of bull thistles with flower stalks and unopened flowers. At this stage the prickly flower stalks are downy and can be easily held with bare fingers.
I had them in my mushroom basket, so did put them into the refrigerator before I crashed.
When I got up, it was an easy job to scrape the down off the flower stalks and pop them in the pan with my chicken stew. At this young stage they have a very mild celery flavor, and they didn’t add anything to the dish I was cooking except fun.
When the stalks get older, they get prickly and hollow. I hold them with a pair of needle-nose pliers and peel off the prickles with a pocket knife. They have an intense celery flavor and are much better for cooking. They get tough at that stage though, so need to be sliced thinly then.
So today was a good news-bad news day.
Oh, I almost forgot! I saw the plastic surgeon this morning who will be tightening up my droopy eyelids which is supposed to improve my vision significantly. I hope it does. But I’m secretly thrilled that my eyes will look better, too!
Posted by Sharon on April 22, 2015
(Click the photos to see a larger image of the Myco Pro app that you can read.)
The weather hasn’t permitted foraging in the woods, and our handyman hasn’t shown up yet. So I’ve been entertaining myself immersed in my favorite mushroom app. So far I’ve been able to get up to 256 points on the quiz before losing the 3 lives the app allows. It seems rather unfair because sometimes when you correctly identify a lethal mushroom, you get
a point for correct identification, but sometimes lose a life anyway! However, it is a reminder that if you aren’t very careful foraging mushrooms you could die — just like that! On the positive side, the quiz repeats mushrooms you have correctly identified as well as the ones you misidentified. The repetition really helps fix the mushroom in your mind.
You can also save photos and GPS locations where you’ve found mushrooms so you can find them again.
Can you tell I am crazy about the Myco Pro app? I have downloaded or bought every mushroom app available on Amazon and Google’s play store — and I have uninstalled all but 3. But Myco Pro is far and away the very best! If you want to use the app to full advantage, you really need to know the main characteristics of the most common genera. For that there is no better book to introduce beginners (and intermediates) to the
safest and tastiest mushrooms than David Fischer and Alan Bessette’s book, Edible Wild Mushrooms of North America. Get the book — not the e-book. The e-book is riddled with typos and has tiny, low resolution images. The hard copy is truly superb. It’s
impossible to poison yourself if you follow the excellent key points for identification that precedes each mushroom description. Most importantly, it shows you how to take a spore print, which is a critical first step in identifying mushrooms.
Totally off-topic, I am doing this post on my phone because the touchpad on my new netbook died. 😦
Anyway, after all this rain, I’m heading to the woods hoping to find lots of mushrooms to photograph — and hopefully some that are good to eat!
Obligatory disclaimer: I get no financial or any other kind of consideration for these endorsements, although, admittedly, I sound like a commercial! 😀
Posted by Sharon on April 14, 2015
The first order of business when we got back home was to catch up on medical appointments. My doctor informed me that my cholesterol was sky high. Since my body has zero tolerance for statins or livilo, that means my only options are diet, supplements and exercise.
So, I am planning three vegan days per week, and cutting back on meat and cheese the other 4 days.
Fortunately, Ron loves my vegan meals as long as I promise him a steak and a pork chop once a week. So tonight we had hopping john and brown rice. Ron went back for seconds, which assured me he wasn’t feeling deprived with the meatless meal. 🙂
I also found a highly recommended handyman who charges very reasonable prices to do the projects on the house that I can’t do. Needless to say, he is backed up, but should be here next week to put in the new back door and give me an estimate on the utility closet. So we are slowly on our way to getting the place ready to put on the market.
Ron is having cataract surgery Wednesday. The following Thursday I go in for a preop consultation about eyelid surgery. My drooping eyelids interfere with my vision enough that Medicare will pay to have that fixed. Then Ron will go in for the other cataract surgery, then this fall it will be my turn.
At least we should have all that done in time to head to Florida again next winter.
Between repair jobs this summer, we plan to schedule week-long getaways whenever we can work them in.
I did find a LBM (little brown mushroom) in one of the campgrounds we were in. I’m not sure which one. I didn’t try to identify it because it’s a tedious process for me and I didn’t have the inclination to spend that much time on it. At first I thought it was a deadly gallerina, but the gills are wrong for that. Anyway, it is definitely not one I was tempted to eat!
We have found the solution for Sunny’s incontinence problems. It’s a belly band with a sanitary napkin inside. It’s not very glamorous, but it works. I thought he would hate wearing one, but he is so used to me putting sweaters and jackets on him that this is just another thing that Mom makes him wear. 🙂
Posted by Sharon on April 10, 2015
At last! We found mushrooms today. Unfortunately, all of them except the shaggy stalk bolete and the orange amanitas were in various stages of decomposition.
The shaggy stalk bolete is edible, but not great. We left it to spread its spores and hopefully produce more.
The smooth orange mushrooms (with the white sac-like volvas) MIGHT be American Caesar mushrooms (aka Amanita jacksonii) which are said to be edible and delicious. However, I’m not willing to bet my life against a horribly painful, long drawn out death to risk eating anything in the amanita family, especially when I am not absolutely certain of my ID. According to the literature, A jacksonii is supposed to have yellow gills. These look too white to me.
We also saw a group of 2 does and 4 twin fawns. And we found a wild persimmon tree whose unripe ruit has a long way to go before becoming sweet and delicious. The campground is rapidly filling up for the weekend. But today was relaxed and pleasant. We met some lovely people, and Sheba made friends young and old. 🙂
Posted by Sharon on August 1, 2014
I had been feeling uncharacteristically bored and a little depressed before Kim came by today.
She arrived in a cute little yellow Volkswagen convertible with the top down! I am kicking myself for not getting a photo of it! And she brought a gift bag with doggie treats for Sunny and Sheba.
Sunny really surprised me. He usually barks ferociously at anyone who tries to pet him. But he loved the attention Kim gave him.
It was too hot to do much, so we moved our chairs into the deep shade and talked. Kim has such a gentle, elegant manner. It’s a delight to be with her. And, in answer to my questions, she caught me up on her plans for her upcoming very ambitious trip.
Later we took a short walk to the dock and boat launch where Sheba got a chance to get in the water.
Kim’s visit energized me and banished my blaughs. I’m so glad she came!
Posted by Sharon on May 8, 2014
We gotta get out of this place
if it’s the last thing we ever do
We gotta get out of this place
Cause girl, there’s a better life for me and you.
The cold wave is supposed to hit tomorrow. So we’ll be hibernating for a few days.
Since we need to stay close to home for doctors appointments, we figure as soon as it warms up we’ll head across the Alabama line to the small Coleman Lake campground in Talladega National Forest for a few days just to get OUT!
There’s not a lot to do there, but walking through the woods, lighting campfires and just being away from home will be enough to tide us over until we can go someplace more exciting.
Later, we are tentatively planning to go to Buccaneer State Park on the Gulf in Mississippi. Unlike Florida State Parks, dogs are allowed on the beach there, so it will be fun for our furkids, too.
In closing, I’ll post a few pictures from the Buccaneer State Park website. They are what’s keeping me going right now. I am desperate for a beach fix! 🙂
Posted by Sharon on March 22, 2014
I found the strangest mushrooms this morning. They looked blue-green in situ from one angle — green from another. From another angle, they looked lavendar. After I brought them inside, they looked gray with a hint of purple with splotches of ugly green.
I described them to my sister on the phone and she burst out laughing — and accused me of sampling funny mushrooms causing me to see all those different colors. 😀
I’ve gone nuts trying to identify them. I think they might be Cortinarius caerulescens. They have a rusty brown spore print. Poisonous. I’m waiting for a positive ID on my mushroom board.
Or maybe it’s a Stropharia. Stropharius?
I also found a few other tiny mushrooms I am not even going to try to identify right now, but will post photos because they are cute. Well… to someone who thinks mushrooms are cool, anyway. 🙂
I just heard from the RV repair guy. He will be out tomorrow to install the new furnace motor!
And I’m planning to wash the Casita tomorrow. It’s growing algae on its belly band.
I got the nicest email from a reader a few minutes ago. After she saw my Hopping John
photo (previous post) and saw the ingredients listed on one of the comments, she made a mad dash to the grocery store after work and bought the ingredients and made a batch. She loved it! She said they ate it Friday and Saturday for dinner, and she had the rest of it for lunch today.
I can’t tell you how that delighted me — because it’s a recipe I just made up. I like canned Hopping John, but it’s too watery. So I just guessed at the ingredients I would need to duplicate the flavor, added sausage to make it a main dish… and we loved it. So the fact that someone else liked my version really tickled me!
Posted by Sharon on October 28, 2013
I’m recovering… enough to enjoy wandering around the yard and the surrounding woods a bit.
We are debating on whether to get the Casita’s furnace fixed this month, or to try to find some inexpensive camping before really cool weather sets in. With the federal campgrounds closed, I found several Georgia county campgrounds with water and electric that charge under $20 per night. The state parks are simply too expensive for us as we like to stay for several days at a time.
Some of the county parks look nice, although it’s hard to find reviews on them. Others just don’t look that appealing. And sitting outside on chilly nights breathing campfire smoke might not be the best thing for me right now.
Maybe I’ll just get the furnace fixed and we’ll head to Florida later — IF the national forest campgrounds open up.
[This is where I edited out a biting comment on the government shutdown political shenanigans.] 😀
Our yard has mushrooms everywhere! Some edible, some sickeners. But after our drought last year, I am happy to see them all. The variety is astounding. I am only posting a small sample of the photos I took.
Posted by Sharon on October 13, 2013