Oregon's Fungal Jungle
Dry weather made for a slow start to the Northwest mushroom season, but the rains have returned, and mushrooms are to be found in the woods. The first rain made the moss green again, but barely dampened the surface duff of the forest floor. The weather forecast looks like we'll soon have a soggy substrate, and thus more mycological wonders to discover.
Over the past month, I've roamed forest trails from sea level to timberline seeking out what mushrooms are blooming where. Here's some of what I've found:
Lobster Mushroom. A boring Russula mushroom transformed into a brilliant orange delectable by being parasitized by another fungus, Hypomyces Lactiflorum. Cauliflower Mushroom. Frilly white masses, softball- to soccerball-sized, with a meaty, moist, white core.
Chanterelle. These have been slow to appear without the rain. But those I've seen so far this season are compact and dense. Scaly Vase Chanterelle. An orange, scaly cap with a distinctive vase shape makes this one easy to spot. It has nubby decurrent "gills" like the true chanterelle, but not one for the dinner table.
Amanita & button. Know this mushroom's morphology: universal veil, cap patches, bulbous base and volva. Some of the most deadly mushrooms are Amanitas.
Of course, that's not all to be found in the fall woods. Rough-skinned Newts like this one next to a blackening Russula mushroom can be found even in dry weather, but now that the rains have returned, even the Northwestern Salamander will be about on the damp forest floor.
And the rains mean that the salmon can get upstream to spawn, like these Chinook in the Salmon River.
Next Adventure has one more hike scheduled for the Fall season. On Sunday, October 21, we'll be heading to the Clackamas River to seem more mushrooms and salmon. $50 per person price includes transportation from Next Adventure and natural interpretation along the trail. Once the snow falls, we'll be offering snowshoe and cross-country ski tours, too. Come join us!
Next Adventure is a fully-insured licensed Outfitter and Guide with the State of Oregon. Next Adventure is an equal opportunity Recreation Provider operating under special use permit on the Mt. Hood National Forest and Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, USDA Forest Service.