Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Vashon Vacation - The Fungi Thing Again

We are over on Vashon for a few days watching ships going by and eating chanterelles, again.  Having Mum here during fungi-season has raised my enthusiasm exponentially.  Now I have someone to go on hikes with, encourage my identification and most importantly eat the mushrooms.  Having two adults keen on fungi has convinced Wren that mushroom foraging is an important life skill and he is willing to come out into the forest and Find Mushrooms, carry a basket and Dentify them.

Wren setting off to forage on Vashon
 This morning we went hunting in Island Center Forest where we collected huckleberries and were stung by nettles (me).  It was somewhat nerve wracking because the forest was open for hunting.  We wore bright orange vests provided at the parking lot and made a lot of noise as we stomped through the forest. In the distance we heard gunshots from time to time and Joshua told us that "many people get shot by mistake each year."  Apparently, season is now open for shotguns and handguns although it will be suspended on October 15th.

Perhaps the threat of being killed had kept foragers away because there were many huckleberries and chanterelles to be had.

I gather huckleberries to the sound of gunshots

Wren was concerned about dogs but not guns. 
He carried the huckleberry basket

While crouching in the undergrowth we
made lots of noise to show we were not deer.

Huckleberries and a few blackberries for pie.

Mum and Wren show that they are Not Bears or Deer
because forest animals do not like orange
 Back at the house (and at home) we have been vigorously identifying mushrooms, possibly edible or not.  Today, we identified Boletus Flaviporous, Phlebia Tremellosa and the birch bolete (a splendid specimen).  I have a small sketch book which I do rough diagrams in and then write in identification notes.  This is mainly about remembering features and names and has helped me to learn a number of new mushrooms recently.  I still covet a microscope but I believe that the type required to see spores (for identification of many mushrooms) is pretty expensive. 

Mushroom identification after the Hood Canal trip

I do not know what this one is... perhaps a lactarius?
It has an interesting velvet furred stem.
 After we survived hunting season and had hunted our mushrooms, we headed to the Vashon Rosterie coffee shop and enjoyed one of those delicious spinach and feta croissants.  I paid a visit to the bookshop on Vashon Highway and bought a copy of Chanterlle Dreams, Amanita Nightmares by Greg Marley.  He is an East Coast author so lacks a bit of the NW Fungal culture, but it captures the spirit of fall and is about mushrooms in culture rather than their identification so its a fun counterpoint to Mushrooms Demystified for which I require google on hand to define botanical terms.

Coming home tomorrow after a drive down to Burton.  Mum and I plan on having one more walk in the woods but without the intent to crawl through huckleberries.

No comments: