Winter is setting in here in cold upstate NY. I now live in the City of One Hundred Thousand Crows and I am far away from my favorite running trails and mushroom hunting grounds. I am, however, quite a bit closer to the Adirondack foothills where I grew up which is a good change. A short drive and I can walk all day seeing no one and finding all kinds of interesting things including hillsides carpeted with Savoyane and huge patches of Wintergreen, Duck Potatoes, Trout, Princess Pine and Sugar Maples all in abundance where they are scarce elsewhere. And I still know where to find the best Sassafras patches around.
Here are some photos from earlier in the year that I have not gotten around to blogging about until now:
"Old Man of the Woods"
This mushroom is edible, safe and easily recognized. Most people who eat it, however, relate that it has a terrible taste. Who would want to eat a mushroom called "Old Man of the Woods" anyway? No, thanks.
Painted Boletes are also marginally known as edible mushrooms although not choice edibles
These Giant Puffballs would have been choice eating if I had found them a week earlier - as it was they were beginning to turn yellow inside which is best to avoid. The Cinnabar Chants and Chanterelles in the foreground were delicious.
Edible Lobster Mushrooms are actually species of Lactarious mushrooms which have been infested with a mold which turns them from edible but unpalatable into choice mushrooms. The same mold can attack other fungi as well so identification verification is important before consuming. The ones I found were past their prime but smelled distinctly of seafood. Very cool... and only slightly nauseating. Supposedly they are delicious.
This Gem Studded Puffball is also edible, and the slug actually looked quite nice sitting on top of it. A complete meal? Nice textural interest anyway.
Orange Peel Fungi are also on the margins of edible - not choice but not poisonous. I would rather look at them myself.
I don't know what this guy is - possibly a Aminita Caesarea but I wouldn't bet my life on it
Yellow Tube Fungus is yet another "edible" that I would rather look at. Maybe someday when I have eaten every choice mushroom I can find I will test out some of these strange foods... maybe.
Besides being a good edible, this Bear's Head Toothed Mushroom (I am 95% sure this is it - I didn't eat it) is known to contain a Nerve Growth Factor, which potentially can combat Alzheimer's disease and other brain disorders. It is also thought to be beneficial in combating Cancer and Tumors.
A few photos of mushrooms shedding their spores... I don't know what sort of mushrooms these are but they are still nice to look at and the spore prints are very cool.
Grasshopper - a good source of calories and good for a picture. I think I will start eating these guys about when I get around to eating Orange Jelly Slime Fungus. Yuck.
This very cool Yellow Garden Spider has built a "Stabilimentum" into her web. No one really knows why some spiders put these designs in their webs. This one is a linear decoration and for whatever purpose, whether camouflage, to attract insects or simply as a form of spider art, it is very beautiful and interesting.