Where did August go? Part 1-Mushroom hunting

Summer does this every year, it flies by, it doesn’t matter if you are busy or not, happy, sad or outright crazy, it flies by;) The rains came, and they haven’t stopped. If I could wave my magic wand, if I had one, (does anyone know of a wand store near Ottawa? Ha!) well, I’d do a lot of things, bring loved ones back, send clouds to British Columbia, move hurricanes out of people’s paths, create world peace, yeah, if only I had a wand. I’ll simply welcome the rain when and where it falls, no matter how hard or drenching, I’m sure every living thing out there is soaking it up, especially the mushrooms.

I’ve seen varieties I didn’t even know existed, a few that are regulars every year, and then some downright crazy-coloured ones as well! I asked Mike to pull over on our road to see what the hell those bright red things were, did someone throw out some plastic, were they geranium petals, What? I was wondering but no, nature’s marvels! Candy Apple Waxy Cap (Hygrocybe cuspidata). Such a bright red! I decided to take a slow walk around the yard, getting down to eye level a few times to see just what WAS growing in the grass, I didn’t have the heart to cut it to the south of the house there were so many things popping up!

On the North side of the lawn, these were my finds. The Common Funnel (Infundibulicybe gibba), it was full of rain before I picked it up to bring it into the light, where Fairies bathe;) it is growing out of an old piece of tree trunk/bark. The Common Gilled Mushrooms and Allies(Order Agaricales) meaning…I dunno what the hell it is! Ha! We call these LBMs (little brown mushrooms) a friend remarked. And FYI, all ID’s are not set in stone so don’t eat any you are not 100% sure of or you may be taking a trip, not walking, good, or bad one to the hospital! The Red-mouth Bolete(Boletus subvelutipes) or what I call the “double dong” had me chuckling all week. A model for a double stick onto the floor didlo perhaps? I saw it in a catalog once! Ha! Commonly known as the red-mouth bolete, is a bolete fungus in the family Boletaceae. It is found in Asia and North America, where it fruits on the ground in a mycorrhizal association with both deciduous and coniferous trees. Its fruit bodies (mushrooms) have a brown to reddish-brown cap, bright yellow cap flesh, and a stem covered by furfuraceous to punctate ornamentation and dark red hairs at the base. Its flesh instantly stains blue when cut, but slowly fades to white. The fruit bodies are poisonous, and produce symptoms of gastrointestinal distress if consumed. So, yup, not for dinner. Now, Coral Fungi-Genus Ramaria, it’s almost like you are underwater! The genus Ramaria comprises approximately 200 species of coral fungi. Several, such as Ramaria flava, are edible and picked in Europe, though they are easily confused with several mildly poisonous species capable of causing nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea; these include R. formosa and R. pallida. Three Ramaria species have been demonstrated to contain a very unusual organoarsenic compound homoarsenocholine. Now that is a mouthful! But, no thanks again! But! Eastern Black Trumpet (Craterellus fallax) you can eat these!!! Skip the Common Earthball (Scleroderma citrinum) not edible;) Ha!

So many different kinds of Amanita. Amanita multisquamosa or the small funnel-veil amanita is a species of Amanita from the coniferous forest of eastern North America. They have such beautiful patterns on them! Marasmius oreades, also known as the fairy ring mushroom or fairy ring champignon, is a mushroom native to North America and Europe. Its common names can cause some confusion, as many other mushrooms grow in fairy rings, such as the edible Agaricus campestris and the poisonous Chlorophyllum molybdites.
Marasmius oreades is a choice edible mushroom. Its sweet taste lends it to baked goods such as cookies. It is also used in foods such as soups, stews, etc. Traditionally, the stems (which tend to be fibrous and unappetizing) are cut off and the caps are threaded and dried in strings. A possible reason why this mushroom is so sweet-tasting is due to the presence of trehalose, a type of sugar that allows M. oreades to resist death by desiccation. When exposed to water after being completely dried out, the trehalose is digested as the cells completely revive, causing cellular processes, including the creation of new spores, to begin again. How cool is that!

Leucoagaricus leucothites, the white dapperling, or white Agaricus mushroom, is a species of agaric fungus. The species was originally described as Agaricus leucothites by Carlo Vittadini in 1835, and bears similarity to species of that genus. Solomon Wasser transferred it to Leucoagaricus in 1977. While sometimes regarded as edible, the species is suspected of being poisonous due to gastric-upset-causing toxins. It could also be confused with the deadly Amanita ocreata. We’ll skip that one, and a weed? Laccaria laccata, commonly known as the deceiver, or waxy laccaria, is a white-spored species of small edible mushroom found throughout North America and Europe. It is a highly variable mushroom (hence ‘deceiver’), and can look quite washed out, colorless and drab, but when younger it often assumes red, pinkish brown, and orange tones. The species is often considered by mushroom collectors to be a ‘mushroom weed’ because of its abundance and plain stature. So much to learn!

We went for dinner down the lake at Stefanie and Stefan’s lovely cottage and there were HUGE mushrooms there! Over a very tasty dinner and a raspberry infused G&T we enjoyed a wonderful evening, and a new mushroom to me, in their yard lakeside! We had a Bald Eagle swoop right down in front of us here after a fish a Loon had caught! Priceless!

Then I took a walk down the road. I decided to brave what was left of the deer flies and go check the mail as well out at the main road.

Blue, yes friggin’ blue! Lactarius indigo, commonly known as the indigo milk cap, indigo milky, the indigo (or blue) lactarius, or the blue milk mushroom, is a species of agaric fungus in the family Russulaceae. The fruit body color ranges from dark blue in fresh specimens to pale blue-gray in older ones. The milk, or latex, that oozes when the mushroom tissue is cut or broken — a feature common to all members of the genus Lactarius — is also indigo blue, but slowly turns green upon exposure to air.
It is an edible mushroom, and is sold in rural markets in China, Guatemala, and Mexico. In Honduras, the mushroom is called a chora, and is generally eaten with egg; generally as a side dish for a bigger meal.

Red and yellow, edible and not and purple coraL FUNGI! They come in Purple as well I gasped!!!!
Clavaria zollingeri, commonly known as the violet coral or the magenta coral, is a widely distributed species of fungus. 

That was just going OUT the road, on the way back I took one of the wonderful woodland trails:)

From Jelly Babies, how cool is that! Leotia is a genus of cup fungi of the division Ascomycota. Leotia species are globally distributed, and are believed to be ectomycorrhizal. They are commonly known as jelly babies because of the gelatinous texture of their fruiting bodies to Goblet Waxcap-Hygrocybe cantharellus. Hygrocybe cantharellus, commonly known as chanterelle waxy cap, is an agaric (gilled mushroom) in the family Hygrophoraceae, no bigger than my pinky, to more Blood Red Russula-Russula rosaceas and Hygrocybe miniata, commonly known as the vermilion waxcap, is a small, bright red or red-orange mushroom of the waxcap genus Hygrocybe. It is a cosmopolitan species, that is found worldwide. Then the shining waxcaps, a species of fungus in the family Hygrophoraceae. It prefers bogs, swamps, and similar moist habitats and Candy cap or curry milkcap is the English-language common name for several closely related edible species of Lactarius; L. camphoratus, L. fragilis, and L. rubidus. These mushrooms are valued for their highly aromatic qualities and are used culinarily as a flavoring rather than as a constituent of a full meal. Thank you Wikipedia for so much information! All this, on an hour long walk!

It wasn’t all mushrooms;)

There were wildflowers, from Prunella vulgaris, the common self-heal, heal-all, woundwort, heart-of-the-earth, carpenter’s herb, brownwort or blue curls, is an herbaceous plant in the mint family Lamiaceae. Self-heal is edible: the young leaves and stems can be eaten raw in salads; the plant as a whole can be boiled and eaten as a leaf vegetable; and the aerial parts of the plant can be powdered and brewed in a cold infusion to make a beverage. To Purple-flowered Raspberry, wild carrot and Virgin’s-Bower (Clematis virginiana)…and berries!

Not to mention several lovely Leopard Frogs:) ♪♫♪ Walking down a country road ♫♪♫

All thanks to the rain:) I found a few more interesting fungi in the yard his week as well. I looked at one, pink Fairy fingers I was thinking? No, Rose Spindles. It only lasted a day, then its cousin, golden spindles. Crowded Parchment (Stereum complicatum) not just for old libraries it seems, it likes dead branches, Common puffballs, Club Feet (?), and bright red Chanterelles! OMG, they are red! Orange-red! I usually feel like Mother Nature is screaming “DONT EAT ME!” when you see these colours but no…Nature never ceases to amaze me.

As I mentioned, so many fungi! I am not an expert and I have probably mislabed a few of these but OMG, so much incredible life! I have spent hours on my hands and knees just mesmerized with the camera, trying to coax a cat to pose with some, impossible;) Ha! We’ll keep trying!

Hug your loved ones close. It was a very hard week as we said goodbye to a very dear friend battling cancer. I have had a hard time containing my emotions and have a pretty good idea of what her family is going through as well. I don’t have the words to express the grief and pain, I really don’t. Celebrate the time you have, open your eyes, take it all in, it goes so quickly life, and time. Abrazos amigos. I’ll leave you with a look down the lake, magical reflections for souls flying free.

Magical reflections

One thought on “Where did August go? Part 1-Mushroom hunting

  1. Take care of each other my friends ~ yes, life can be so hard ~ we need to cherish the beautiful parts xo

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