Forager
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12:55 PM - Oct 09, 2018 #141

Sorry I left that out Quills.  Yours looks to have come from the ground, has patches on a cap with a ragged margin (veil remnants).  Gills are white, clearly free of the stem and rather closely packed.  Smooth, solid, slender stem with dark striations, same color as the cap as it rises, thick ring (movable?) on the upper portion, bulbous at the base.  Without more information I'm inclined to call this a Lepiota, possibly L. procera (the Parasol mushroom).

As mentioned, big year for this one.  They may be seen all over around here, woods, fields, lawns, etc, singly, in scattered groups, dense clumps and beautiful broad fairy rings.  I've seen some whose caps have expanded into dinner plates, others easily a foot tall.  Have they been as plentiful out by you?  

It's interesting to me that every year a different mushroom or mushrooms tend to dominate the stage and others which can be common or plentiful in other years seem to just bunker in.
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WIoutdoorguy
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3:14 PM - Oct 09, 2018 #142

Forager wrote,
"It's interesting to me that every year a different mushroom or mushrooms tend to dominate the stage and others which can be common or plentiful in other years seem to just bunker in."


You hit the nail on the head there Forager. I have yet to see or hear of anyone finding a giant puffball this fall around here.
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WIoutdoorguy
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1:10 AM - Oct 10, 2018 #143

I wish I had known about the hen of the woods mushroom years ago. It is an excellent culinary delight! Cooked plain in butter and served with venison backstrap lightly seasoned with garlic. What wasn't cooked tonight will be eaten over the next few days. The second one will be cleaned and dried for use over the winter. The chore of cleaning them is definitely worth the time. I highly recommend the hen of the woods to anyone that likes mushrooms!
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Brian T
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2:29 AM - Oct 10, 2018 #144

It's probably the "stutter & hurdle"  style of growth.  Happens in discrete metabolic pathways.
Nutrient complexes and substrate concentrations have to build in concert then the whole
metabolic cascade is set in motion.  The combination is a keystone as it is for blooms of algae.

Chicken of the Woods.  Hen of the Woods.  Same species?
I should make an effort to get out, supposed to snow like hello on Friday.
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boletus
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4:23 AM - Oct 10, 2018 #145

Love that plate and whats on it. I sure wish those grew out here.
-Jason
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Forager
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3:23 PM - Oct 10, 2018 #146

The matter of common names and their scientific counterparts is illustrated in the question distinguishing the Chickens from the Hens of the Woods.  The Chicken (Laetiporus suphureus) is so called for its texture which is similar to chicken breast, consisting of long tender arcing fibers... some feel that its flavor also approximates chicken (perhaps, if the fowl were cooked with mushrooms); the descriptor of the genus - sulphureus - refers to the brilliant yellow color of the fertile pore surface.  The Hen (Grifola frondosa) is named for its appearance of a fat hen ruffling out its feathers; its descriptor - frondosa - alludes to its bushlike multitude of fronds or caps.  This example explains why to some very practical extent Latin remains in currency and deserves to be understood even a little.

Rob I stand with Jason.  Nice simple treatment to permit the ingredients to stand for all of their virtue, and a strong report on the mushroom's status.  Excellent plate as well.  Thanks for the input.
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Brian T
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9:10 PM - Oct 10, 2018 #147

Thank you.  Latin and Greek are the universal language of science.
Russian visitors came to our electron microscope lab, translator and all.
I speak no Russian.  Our visitors spoke no english.  No matter.
We ignored the translator and spoke in science words that we all understood.
The Latin binomial names, genus and species terms, are absolutley global.
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Quillsnkiko
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7:00 AM - Oct 12, 2018 #148

Forager wrote: Sorry I left that out Quills.  Yours looks to have come from the ground, has patches on a cap with a ragged margin (veil remnants).  Gills are white, clearly free of the stem and rather closely packed.  Smooth, solid, slender stem with dark striations, same color as the cap as it rises, thick ring (movable?) on the upper portion, bulbous at the base.  Without more information I'm inclined to call this a Lepiota, possibly L. procera (the Parasol mushroom).

As mentioned, big year for this one.  They may be seen all over around here, woods, fields, lawns, etc, singly, in scattered groups, dense clumps and beautiful broad fairy rings.  I've seen some whose caps have expanded into dinner plates, others easily a foot tall.  Have they been as plentiful out by you?  

It's interesting to me that every year a different mushroom or mushrooms tend to dominate the stage and others which can be common or plentiful in other years seem to just bunker in.
So it might have been a edible one. There were a few there that were more expanded. plate like sort of...and smaller ones as well. I brought home about 8 of them and threw them out in the yard on the end...in case they were edible they might put down spoors.

Like I said the fairy ring was a perfect large circle with many of them there. The following day someone mowed that grass and they were all gone. One of those you named said choice with caution...the other said edible with caution...what exactly does... with caution mean? Thats from My Audubon society book.

I have another older book Fieldbook of Common Mushrooms by Thomas...and I'd say its lepioda procera. But a spoor print would have been in order to determine if that's what it was.

It says its a choice mushroom..darn!~! if it was...:-)  I might have to go  look there again and see if more came up. At one point in the description it says on account of its scaly cap and bulbous stem, it must be carefully distinguished from species of Amanita. Murrill.

Then in one other sentence its says there is no poisonous  species with which it can be confused.

Well.... that makes me confused...LOL!~! which is it?

Says its choice. I should have done a spoor print while I had it.But things have been a bit harder lately.  Ive not been out to look for any others myself  but a friend of mine has told me hes getting a lot of mushrooms of all kinds this fall. Hens etc . and others.We have had a lot of rain. Quills


Thank you....Quills
" You can't stop the waves .... but, you can learn to surf."
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1:39 PM - Oct 12, 2018 #149

I've eaten a couple of the Lepiota mushrooms and wasn't impressed as much as I am with other mushrooms of different flavor characters and textures like Lactarius, a number of Boletes, polypores or toothed mushrooms, but that's entirely subjective.  I mention it because often we come closer to risk when the object desired appears to be of great value.  But when risk is carefully assessed and securities are in place we proceed.

"Edible with caution" usually means that a mistake could be serious or worse.  The security against this risk is absolute certainty of an accurate ID.  So you're right about the need for a spore print.  You'd also want to dissect the mushroom to list anatomical details about the thickness of the cap flesh and stem at different points along its length, whether they stain and if so how quickly.  Also if the ring on the stem is free to move, etc.  

This is not intended to discourage anyone but rather to affirm that when accurate information is verified with certainty and all of the details are unanimous with several field guides, one may venture a trial with absolute confidence.  Yet in the same way that peanuts and shellfish prompt undesired reactions in some, the first trial of anything new (especially a wild food) should be a modest amount.  If all is well, you have a new food to enjoy.  As one who has fulfilled this process for well over 100 different edible mushrooms (I stopped counting some years ago) I can assert that clean science and strong discipline has delivered many wonderful things to my table as wholesome food.  But when I do try something new I keep whole uncooked samples in my refrigerator for several days in case there is an unexpected reaction.  This way a professional mycologist associated with the toxic response function of an ER can verify the ID and provide specific treatment - although those mushrooms get cooked and eaten after the 4th day, it is part of my discipline and a good example.  And there have been some species which I studied for 7 years before I was convinced of their ID (I was correct all along) and others which I finally walked away from, having lost interest in a culinary trial. 

So it's not about being daring but rather about a deliberate pursuit of information.  An absolutely sure ID will also prevent the negative placebo effect of second thoughts following a (harmless) mushroom meal eaten with a less than certain ID.  The creeping advance of anxiety has a way of escalating and generating the physiological response of increased pulse, flushing, nausea, etc - all classic symptoms which lead to the ER after a dish of wild mushrooms.  I should also mention the possibility of mushroom chemistry interacting with prescription medicines which need to be taken (many edible mushrooms have medicinal value or work as tonics), but this would be in the domain of a pharmacist or physician to determine.  When one is free to eat good food with peace of mind, the reaction is one of elation.  Still, no hobby - however cool, exciting and rewarding - is worth one's liver, kidneys or life.
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9:31 PM - Oct 12, 2018 #150

Very well said. 
Reminds me of this saying which was taught to me in the 1980s by those who got me started in foraging: "There are old foragers and bold foragers. But there are no old bold foragers." 
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9:49 PM - Oct 12, 2018 #151

Good one, DD.  That really does sum it all up in a beautifully concentrated aphorism.

During a discussion concerning toxicity my wife just quoted that one the other day; to which I added, Everything is edible - at least once.
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1:45 PM - Oct 14, 2018 #152

Temperatures have abruptly dropped into the 40s F, signalling the advent of cooler-weather fungi.  This prompted a fresh examination of a cliff within the Forest.  Upon the ledges grow Grey and Black Birches and White Pine with an understory of Sweetfern and Huckleberry.  Underfoot there's loose stone large and small and thick beds of Haircap moss along with outcrops, the base of the cliff littered with car- and house-sized boulders.

In the interest of avoiding redundancy I didn't photograph the sizable Hens, Black Trumpets and Chanterels I gathered but some new ones were present:

A couple of different Suillus -
White Pine Suillus Dorsal.JPG This one found exclusively under White Pines.  It's fertile surface -
White Pine Suillus Fertile Surface.JPG
...and the Painted Suillus (S. picta)
Suillus pictus.JPG
Quite nearby, a sample of deep woodland Coral -
Deep Woodland Coral.JPG
And a different form, the Pestle-Shaped Coral (Clavariadelphus pistillaris)-
Clavariadelphus pistillaris.JPG
Colonizing an entire fallen Hemlock in advanced decay, Orange Jelly (Dacrymyces palmatus)
Dacrymyces palmatus.JPG

Often mistaken for the King Bolete (B. edulis), the aptly named Bitter Bolete (Tylopilus felleus)
Bitter Bolete, Tylopilus felleus.JPG ...the key distinguishing feature is the brown reticulum on the upper part of the stem (that of B. edulis is white).

Because I've only found them singly I was very pleased to find a nice group of Hedgehogs - these being Hydnum repandum, the larger cousin to H. imbillicatum (comment #40) -
Hydnum repandum.JPG The beautiful knife and Ice Man sheath (worn around the neck) were gifts crafted by my brother Firehawk, used in this foray and shown here as much for scale as for their complementary colors.

Finally, the view from the brow of the cliff -
View from the Cliff Brow.JPG
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2:59 PM - Oct 14, 2018 #153

To me the microcosms of moss and mushroom rival the thrill of the cliff top panorama. "Many thanks for taking us along!" barely scratches the surface of my gratitude. 
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12:07 AM - Oct 15, 2018 #154

I'm grateful for the kind reception of what I seek to share, thank you.  Much of what I see and encounter is because my mostly solitary forays permit me to be exclusively present with these environments without even the most agreeable distraction.  However, when my wife accompanies me we see so much more thanks to the second set of eyes operating in mutual sympathy to our purpose.  

Today was one of those days and she found 90% of the take in yet another section of Old Woods.  Again omitting images of the now supernumerary Hens and Milkies, she located a generous patch of Hedgehogs (H. repandum), countless Milkies (Lactarius), several Hens, the earliest Wood Ear and Blewits for this season and more.  It was cool to walk behind her and our dog as an assistant to a formidable forager, as I found rather little beyond a mature Beefsteak Polypore, a couple of Chanterels and not very much else.

Additions to our topic's ongoing roster:

Another jelly fungus (as is the previously shown Orange Jelly), Wood Ear -
Wood Ear.JPG Many might recognise this as an ingredient in many of their favored Chinese restaurant dishes.

Neither of these are edible but are respected for their delicate beauty and color, the Violet Cort and a colony of Stereum Parchment -
Violet Cort and Stereum Parchment.JPG
And in my experience, this earliest appearance of the season's 'closing act', Blewits (Lepista nuda) -
Blewits.JPG This fungus readily transforms leaf and twig litter into rich soil - note the upturned one's cottony white mycelial bundle threading through a layer of leaves which at their deepest has become soil.  If clearing our forests of natural debris and enriching earthen substrates isn't enough they also provide an excellent mushroom of good size, thick flesh and fairly dense weight as the agent of projected ongoing custodial activity.  Blewits persist into freezing weather as I can attest to having gathered them fresh with ice plates upon their caps (need to get a photo of that).
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1:38 AM - Oct 15, 2018 #155

A small part of what's more interesting in the annual sequence and coordinated locations of such regional forays is the observation of which species recur and which predominate within the span of a select geography covering the span of several counties not limited to river drainages and their tributaries.  To provide one example, the aforementioned Hedgehogs only present themselves every so very many years apart and yet this year we've found them in numbers among the steep cliffs and within the fertile valleys many miles and several sequential river drainages apart.

Beyond this example, the phenomena of those mushroom species which become common against those which are scarce are not limited to particular locations but tend to be common within specific geographies - this may be as extensive as Quill's abundantly fruiting Lepiotas in Iowa occurring on a par with my own in NJ.  The overview and count of regional populations tell of more subtle influences prevailing over such geographic expanses of territory determining who occupies the stage from year to year.  Identifying the factors which generate such annually shifting outcomes of natural and economic significance would make for a most significant thesis of research, and may not be limited to climate factors but perhaps include wind-borne dispersal of spores, solar and even celestial pulls.  We've learned plenty enough to know not to rule out even the most subtle of influences.
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4:54 PM - Oct 15, 2018 #156

From yesterday's walk in the woods. I don't know what these are, but they were all over the place:
IMG_2927.jpg

IMG_2939.jpg
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1:19 AM - Yesterday #157

Thanks for all the great information! I must find time go through these posts and read more slowly; so that  I might retain a bit of it.
"You don't have to stop playing when you get old, but you get old when you stop playing."
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1:56 AM - Yesterday #158

Went back to check the regression of the hens this afternoon. They are starting to turn white and deteriorating. I wish I had picked more at the the time but there's always next year right!

I ran across a few mushrooms that weren't there when I collected the hens. Haven't been able to identify either of them unfortunately.

These were growing on the oak that the hen of the woods was growing around.
IMG_20181015_161337006.jpg
IMG_20181015_161324448.jpg
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2:02 AM - Yesterday #159

These were growing in the ground in the near vicinity.
IMG_20181015_202200969.jpg
IMG_20181015_202154207.jpg
IMG_20181015_160920015.jpg
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Quillsnkiko
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2:04 AM - Today #160

Forager wrote: I'm grateful for the kind reception of what I seek to share, thank you.  Much of what I see and encounter is because my mostly solitary forays permit me to be exclusively present with these environments without even the most agreeable distraction.  However, when my wife accompanies me we see so much more thanks to the second set of eyes operating in mutual sympathy to our purpose.  

Today was one of those days and she found 90% of the take in yet another section of Old Woods.  Again omitting images of the now supernumerary Hens and Milkies, she located a generous patch of Hedgehogs (H. repandum), countless Milkies (Lactarius), several Hens, the earliest Wood Ear and Blewits for this season and more.  It was cool to walk behind her and our dog as an assistant to a formidable forager, as I found rather little beyond a mature Beefsteak Polypore, a couple of Chanterels and not very much else.

Additions to our topic's ongoing roster:

Another jelly fungus (as is the previously shown Orange Jelly), Wood Ear -
Wood Ear.JPGMany might recognise this as an ingredient in many of their favored Chinese restaurant dishes.

Neither of these are edible but are respected for their delicate beauty and color, the Violet Cort and a colony of Stereum Parchment -
Violet Cort and Stereum Parchment.JPG
And in my experience, this earliest appearance of the season's 'closing act', Blewits (Lepista nuda) -
Blewits.JPGThis fungus readily transforms leaf and twig litter into rich soil - note the upturned one's cottony white mycelial bundle threading through a layer of leaves which at their deepest has become soil.  If clearing our forests of natural debris and enriching earthen substrates isn't enough they also provide an excellent mushroom of good size, thick flesh and fairly dense weight as the agent of projected ongoing custodial activity.  Blewits persist into freezing weather as I can attest to having gathered them fresh with ice plates upon their caps (need to get a photo of that).
Steve you write.... and our dog...so... you got another dog after loosing you buddy a while back?

Great pictures. by the way..there were some dried Bluets in those shrooms you sent me a while back. Ive never seen one in the wild.

Have you ever noticed your dogs paying the least little attention to mushrooms you show interest in ? Or are there off on their own adventures.   Quills
" You can't stop the waves .... but, you can learn to surf."
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