Autumn Spore-t: Mushroom Hunting

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Chicken of the Woods, Anderson (10/31/16) Gabriel Leete

Chicken of the Woods, Anderson (10/31/16) Gabriel Leete

A favorite northwest autumn sport is mushroom hunting.

Gabriel Leete of Redding sends these photographs of mushrooms found exploring the Lower Sacramento River, in Anderson and Redding.

Caution and expert knowledge is required, as some species are both poisonous and edible. You don’t want to make a mistake, by thinking you have the edible variety, when in fact it’s poisonous.

Chicken of the Woods (seen above) [Laetiporus] is “a very brilliant spp. of fungi,” Gabriel reports, “As the nomenclature indicates, it is bright yellow & orange (sulphur colored).  And the common name is due to the whitening of the flesh when cooked and has somewhat of a chicken and mushroom flavor.  It is used by vegans and vegetarians in lieu of chicken.”

Agaricus, Anderson (10/31/16) Gabriel Leete

Agaricus, Anderson (10/31/16) Gabriel Leete

Unidentified, Anderson (10/31/16) Gabriel Leete

Unidentified, Anderson (10/31/16) Gabriel Leete

Earth Star, Anderson (10/31/16) Gabriel Leete

Earthstar, Anderson (10/31/16) Gabriel Leete

The common Agaricus genus contains some 300 members, both poisonous and edible.  Caution is advised.

Earthstar  [Astraeus hygrometricus] is a fascinating mushroom that resembles a globe over a star. They are too tough to be edible, so don’t bother.












Earthstars have, however, been used by native Americans and Asians medicinally as a salve against burns. The Blackfoot people called them “fallen stars,” considering them to be stars that fall to Earth during supernatural events.

It’s amazing what color you find in autumn, when looking down.


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