Well, we’ve had a pretty good example of a drought year here in Lake of Bays and Algonquin Highlands. The rain, when we’ve had it, has not been well-timed for the berry crops, but the mushrooms have been having a great time!
Our Shiitakes had an amazing run this fall, as did many other Fun Guys. The ‘Shrooming since the beginning of September has been fantastic!!
I had a client send a set of mushroom pix to me through email this Thanksgiving weekend, wanting an ID from me, almost convinced that they were Shiitakes.
The mushrooms were growing from what seemed to be a Sugar maple stump that had been cut three inches above grade several years earlier. The mushrooms were twisted, and grooved with smooth, shiny, yellow caps, almost like Slippery Jacks, they could’ve been Honey mushrooms, but were past their prime if they were…
I didn’t have time to ID the subject specimen with any certainty as to whether or not it was edible AT ALL, not to mention that I was out the door to the funeral for the father of a dear friend (link below), but I knew how to answer the question right away.
I hastily wrote out key ID:
“Note the shiny, ‘wet’ caps and the contrast between the caps and the dark, twisty, grooved stem.
Shiitakes are buff, dry, solid, monochromatic through cap to stem, dry, and clean.
Cheers to a great Thanksgiving and DON’T eat the mushrooms!”
I don’t like to I.D. mushrooms during my edibles workshops as edible, it has been a general rule of thumb for me. I thought that writing about them, and forcing myself to identify some of my hundreds of mushroom photos, may expand my horizons.
Let’s run through a quick course of fall mushroom photo ID from Botanigal’s Fall Travels… These images were taken in Algonquin Highlands, Lake of Bays, and Ottawa, as noted in the captions. You will notice that they are slowly being identified over time…
Please read the Ottawa Citizen’s obituary for artist and naturalist John Crosby, dear father to my best friends, and a key role-model to my LOB-Ottawa pals, along with my fellow naturalists and birders.
John regularly haunted Mud Lake as long as he was able.
He was an amazing Canadian artist.
May the forest be with you Joe.