Sunday, September 18th, 2011 at
Halfway through September I am once again honored to present the Wild Edible Notebook, my journal-style tale of select plants. This fourth issue is about wild mushrooms.
In the first part, I share a neophyte’s adventure discovering and experimenting with shaggy manes (Coprinus comatus).
The second part, which regards Colorado Rocky Mountain mushrooms in general, is a little different than prior Notebooks as it is a told in a more journalistic voice. It includes interviews with Jana Hlavaty, the Czech-born U.S. Olympian who is also an avid mushroom hunter, and Vera Stucky Evenson, curator of the Sam Mitchel Herbarium of Fungi at the Denver Botanic Gardens and author of Mushrooms of Colorado and the Southern Rocky Mountains. (Part of the material is reprinted from a recent article I wrote for the Summit Daily News, but I have also included portions of the interviews that were beyond the scope of the SDN piece.)
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EDITED 10.7.13 to reflect the new download procedures.
Thursday, September 8th, 2011 at
Gem studded puffballs from the backyard.
Looking back to the puffball entry I wrote on August 13 last year, I can’t believe how long it’s taken for my backyard colony of gem-studded puffballs (Lycoperdon perlatum) to emerge this season. Emerge they have, however (in early September, finally!), and with them a host of other puffballs as well.
First there were the big puffballs I found on September 3 amidst the sagebrush in an open field on a hilltop in a dry aspen forest in Fairplay, Colorado. This after Gregg’s parents took me on a crazy off-roading adventure (which they didn’t think was all that crazy) consisting of a mile-long drive up a hilly mining road strewn alternately with rough talus and nasty ditches from the spring runoff to get to the trailhead. It’s true that I’m a wee bit squeamish about off-roading, but Gregg’s usually cautious parents seem to have a penchant for it ever since they emerged triumphant from an ill-advised tour in their Jeep Grand Cherokee over Mosquito Pass from Leadville to Fairplay a few years ago. Read the rest of this entry
Friday, September 2nd, 2011 at
Newly picked Lactarius deliciosus aka delicious milk caps. Note gills are light orange, not white.
It rained quite a bit a few days ago and now the mushrooms are up again, though we’ve found only one bolete in recent days—a magnificent one, but past its prime so we left it. I wonder if the season for boletes is past?
No biggie. Boletes are good but so are Lactarius deliciosus, a mushroom I had not intended to try because it has gills, but when my friend Butter announced that she was looking for it, I starting looking too—and then found them in abundance.
Delicious Milky Caps
Lactarius deliciosus is just as it sounds: milky and delicious. It’s creamy light orange, both on the cap and gills (which should not be white). Deliciosus is what happens when you sauté it in oil for a while—though just how delicious it is seems subject to debate, with Vera Stucky Evenson (1997) saying, “Although a popular edible in other countries, Colorado’s variety of this species are not always delicious.” Read the rest of this entry