A Morphing Mushroom & Feedback!

This mushroom looked blue-green in situ

This mushroom looked blue-green in situ

I found the strangest mushrooms this morning.  They looked blue-green in situ from one angle — green from another.  From another angle, they looked lavendar.  After I brought them inside, they looked gray with a hint of purple with splotches of ugly green.

I described them to my sister on the phone and she burst out laughing — and accused me of sampling funny mushrooms causing me to see all those different colors.  😀

I’ve gone nuts trying to identify them.  I think they might be Cortinarius caerulescens.  They have a rusty brown spore print.  Poisonous.  I’m waiting for a positive ID on my mushroom board.

Or maybe it’s a Stropharia.  Stropharius?

Another one

Another one

I also found a few other tiny mushrooms I am not even going to try to identify right now, but will post photos because they are cute.  Well… to someone who thinks mushrooms are cool, anyway.  🙂

I just heard from the RV repair guy.  He will be out tomorrow to install the new furnace motor!

And I’m planning to wash the Casita tomorrow.  It’s growing algae on its belly band.

I got the nicest email from a reader a few minutes ago.  After she saw my Hopping John

Here it looks lavendar

Here it looks lavendar.

photo (previous post) and saw the ingredients listed on one of the comments, she made a mad dash to the grocery store after work and bought the ingredients and made a batch.  She loved it!  She said they ate it Friday and Saturday for dinner, and she had the rest of it for lunch today.

I can’t tell you how that delighted me — because it’s a recipe I just made up.  I like canned Hopping John, but it’s too watery.  So I just guessed at the ingredients I would need to duplicate the flavor, added sausage to make it a main dish… and we loved it.  So the fact that someone else liked my version really tickled me!

Inside the house (taking spore prints) - they are now ugly green and gray.

Inside the house (taking spore prints) – they are now ugly green and gray.

Tiny scaly mushroom

Tiny scaly mushroom

Another shot

Another shot

A couple more tiny mystery mushrooms

A couple more tiny mystery mushrooms

I think these little guys are Common Laccaria.  If so, the caps are edible, but not very good.

I think these little guys are Common Laccaria. If so, the caps are edible, but not very good.

From the bottom

From the bottom

Autumn Mushrooms, Oddities & Flowers

pink

I’m recovering… enough to enjoy wandering around the yard and the surrounding woods a bit.

fall bloomersI apologize to all whose comments on my last post I didn’t answer.  Instead of trying to play catchup, just know that I appreciate you and will do better from now on.  🙂

We are debating on whether to get the Casita’s furnace fixed this month, or to try to find some inexpensive camping before really cool weather sets in.  With the federal campgrounds closed, I found several Georgia county campgrounds with water and electric that charge under $20 per night.  The state parks are simply too expensive for us as we like to stay for several days at a time.fall bloomers2

Some of the county parks look nice, although it’s hard to find reviews on them.  Others just don’t look that appealing.   And sitting outside on chilly nights breathing campfire smoke might not be the best thing for me right now.

Maybe I’ll just get the furnace fixed and we’ll head to Florida later — IF the national forest campgrounds open up.

Interesting mushroom. Note the reticulated stalk

[This is where I edited out a biting comment on the government shutdown political shenanigans.]  😀

Our yard has mushrooms everywhere!  Some edible, some sickeners.  But after our drought last year, I am happy to see them all.  The variety is astounding.  I am only posting a small sample of the photos I took.

I was unable to get a spore print on this mushroom because it has a white parasitic fungus on the pore surface.  It doesn't seem to bother the little guy who is eating it.

I was unable to get a spore print on this mushroom because it has a white parasitic fungus on the pore surface. It doesn’t seem to bother the little guy who is eating it.

Edible penny-bun type bolete

Edible penny-bun type bolete

And another!

And another!

I removed the pore layer because it was a little past its prime.  The pores were actually olive green but they show up brown in this photo.

I removed the pore layer because it was a little past its prime. The pores were actually olive green but they show up brown in this photo.

I’m not sure what this is. At first I thought it might be wild quinine, but neither the flowers nor leaves are a match. On edit: it might be eupatorium serotinum aka boneset or late thoroughwort.

lichen

lichen

Edible suilli

Edible suilli

Poisonous pokeweed berries

Poisonous pokeweed berries

Such a pretty face

Such a pretty face

Another suillus

Another suillus

Soggy ground

Soggy ground

Goldenrod

Goldenrod

Red russulas (sickeners) growing by Casita tire.  More are growing under the Casita.

Red russulas (sickeners) growing by Casita tire. More are growing under the Casita.

Back in My Woods

Frost's Bolete (Boletus frostii).  I was thrilled with this find.  The amber drops on the pore surface are characteristic of a young B. frostii.

Frost’s Bolete (Boletus frostii). I was thrilled with this find. The amber drops on the pore surface are characteristic of a young B. frostii.

I’ve spent three late afternoons outside exploring my woods, and it’s had an amazingly restorative effect on me.  I think I haven’t been playing enough lately!

The gorgeous true-red cap of the Frost's Bolete.

The gorgeous true-red cap of the Frost’s Bolete.

I was particularly thrilled to find a Frost’s Bolete — because on my mushroom board, neither the resident expert nor the administrator has ever found one.  I have seen others in past years on the back of our property, so I didn’t figure they were that rare.

I am so very blessed to be able to feel awestruck wonder at so many aspects of the natural world.

I’ll just share the pictures, and hope that some of the magic comes through to you, too.  🙂

Pokeweed flowers with baby berries

Pokeweed flowers with baby berries

Ripening fig

Ripening fig

Rose hip

Rose hip

A 4 o'clock flower with a big seed.  When we were kids we used to collect the seeds and go around and try to sell them to the neighbors.  We never had a lot of luck.  Could be that our grimy little hands weren't the most market-wise packaging.  :D

A 4 o’clock flower with a big seed. When we were kids we used to collect the seeds and go around and try to sell them to the neighbors. We never had a lot of luck. Could be that our grimy little hands weren’t the most market-wise packaging. 😀

A young Cortinarius iodes from the bottom.  Only the small purple cap was sticking out.  The rest was buried in a decomposing stick.

A young Cortinarius iodes from the bottom. Only the small purple cap was sticking out. The rest was buried in a decomposing stick.

A mature cortinarius cap

A mature cortinarius cap

No wonder the tasteless Indian strawberries are crowding out the sweet wild strawberries.  They fruit all season and produce countless seeds.

No wonder the tasteless Indian strawberries are crowding out the sweet wild strawberries. They fruit all season and produce countless seeds.

Tender, edible greenbrier shoots are still available this late in the year.

Tender, edible greenbrier shoots are still available this late in the year.

A small suillus

A small suillus

Late figs on the way!

Late figs on the way!

Not all trees are friendly.  I think this is a wild hawthorne.

Not all trees are friendly. I think this is a wild hawthorne.

Red russulas, I think. I didn't bother to seriously try to identify them.  I just liked their color!  :)

Red russulas, I think. I didn’t bother to seriously try to identify them. I just liked their color! 🙂

Late afternoon sun dappled florest floor

Late afternoon sun dappled florest floor

Doll Mountain

Our site at Doll Mountain

Our site at Doll Mountain

We weren’t sure whether or not we would be able to be able to go camping this morning.  The news said that there was flash flooding in Ellijay and East Ellijay, people were being evacuated, and some of the roads were closed.

Ron and Sheba.  The campground road is a series of hairpin turns.

Ron and Sheba. The campground road is a series of hairpin turns.

Ellijay is very near Doll Mountain.

So I checked the weather alerts online and they confirmed our worst fears.

But I decided to call the campground and get firsthand information.  The campground host said they hadn’t heard anything about problems with access to the campground.  She took my name and number and said she would check and call me back.

She called back with an all clear.  The flooding was south of our route.  And the rain stopped shortly after we left home.

A tent site

A tent site

So here we are in this beautiful, recently remodeled campground.

The weather has been perfect.  We’ve had our windows open all day with just the fan running.  No air conditioning needed.  Also, our campsite is in deep shade and there has been a nice breeze.   Amazing for August 1.

The area is a mushroomer’s heaven.  I found baby chanterelles at the back of our campground.  Only someone else saw them, too, and kicked them over and stepped on them.  I also found another one that was damaged, along with several other different kinds of inedible ones.

The late afternoon sun made this blowdown look like it was on fire.

The late afternoon sun made this blowdown look like it was on fire.

However, the terrain is steep!  The only level ground here is on the road and on the campsites.  I tried to check out the area behind our site and would have slid down the hill if I hadn’t been able to grab a tree.  Getting back up was an adventure, even with the help of my hiking stick.

But tomorrow is another beautiful day to explore!  It’s supposed to be partly cloudy, with no rain predicted!

We did have one mishap.  Somewhere on the way here we lost our lower refrigerator vent cover.  We didn’t hit anything.  The only thing I can figure is I must not have had all the little plastic screws in the right position and the wind caught it and ripped it off.  Only the lower left corner of the vent remains.

The missing refrigerator vent

The missing refrigerator vent

There are no RV repair places near here, and if there were, they would probably have to order the part.  So I called Casita.  Their parts department was closed for the day.  I left a message for them to call me first thing in the morning.  The camp host said I could have them ship a part here.

It’s supposed to rain day after tomorrow.  If it does, I will rig up an awning for the vent, taping a trash bag to the top of the vent and tying the bottom to rocks placed a bit out from the trailer.  That should keep the rain out and still allow air intake.

The uphill sewer connection

The uphill sewer connection (edited to add, I don’t think it’s a sewer connection after all.)

In the meantime, it’s just beautiful here.  We spent the evening sitting outside listening to the night sounds, mesmerized by the flame from our torches.  And wondering why an occasional bug will fly directly into the flame.

And why the Army Corps of Engineers installed our sewer hookup uphill.  😀

 

(on edit — I don’t think it’s a sewer connection.)

Wild Foods with Dinner & SUNSHINE

Baby poke salad shoots and daylily buds tempura with dinner

Baby poke salad shoots and daylily buds tempura with dinner

We had blue skies today — at least between the clouds.  And SUNSHINE!  I didn’t mind being outside in the steamy weather today.  The sunshine felt SO good!  The deluge came around 5:30, but I didn’t care…. I had seen and felt the sun!

Edible daylily buds

Edible daylily buds

While I was out I noticed that both our fig trees promise a bumper crop.  That’s great because I have almost used all the figs I dried last year.  I love putting them, along with dehydrated orange peel, in my oatmeal in the mornings.

I also found some baby poke salad plants and some daylily buds.  High on sunshine, I picked some to cook with dinner this evening.

This evening’s dinner was a country boy special just for Ron…. cubed steak, mashed potatoes and gravy.  I’ll be eating a lot of rabbit food to make up for that!  😀

I had so much fun playing outside today that I didn’t get started on the curtains.  I can do that when it’s raining!

Figs!

Figs!

Baby poke salad plants

Baby poke salad plants

Blackberries

Blackberries

Cute little mushroom

Cute little mushroom

Small, tough-rinded, inedible puffball

Small, tough-rinded, inedible puffball

Unidentified yellow-capped mushroom

Unidentified yellow-capped mushroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Tis the Season – for Mushrooms

Crimson waxy cap -- [i]Hygrocybe punicea[i]

Crimson waxy cap — Hygrocybe punicea (Sorry – no italics in captions)

We have had dozens of different kinds of mushrooms sprout up in our yard lately, ranging from tiny little things that are barely 1/2″ across to huge caps that are 7-8″ wide.  I’ve photographed a few of the more interesting ones.

Amanita amerirubescens with partial veil

Amanita amerirubescens with partial veil covering the gills

My identifications are tentative.  I have a request in at my mushroom board for confirmation.  I’ll correct any errors later.

Translation:  Do not trust my identification!  🙂

I always worry that Sheba will decide to play with the amanitas and poison herself.  Once she caught one in her teeth and threw it in the air, but thankfully she did not eat it.  The dogs seem to understand that they are not to be eaten.

I think this is an amanita citrina f citrina.  Confirmation pending.

I think this is an amanita citrina f citrina. Confirmation pending. (Corrected: it’s an Amanita praecox.)

We are actually getting glimpses of blue sky today, with an occasional peek of sunshine!

I plan to start on the Casita curtains later today.  Hope to have them hung in a couple of days.  I still have to buy mounting hardware

Twin russulas growing by a pine root

Twin russulas growing by a pine root My mushroom board moderator has identified it as Russula compactica, as evidenced by its unpleasant odor.

I haven't identified this cute little guy yet

I haven’t identified this cute little guy yet. (Correction: it’s also a russula, but a different species from the big brown one above.)

Another shot of the unidentified mushroom

Another shot of the cute russula.

.

Leaving Clark Creek

Mimosa flowers.  Looks like a cotton candy tree.

Mimosa flowers. Looks like a cotton candy tree.

The thunderstorms won.  We left the campground a day early.

Mimosa tree

Mimosa tree

We learned more about which campgrounds work for us and which ones don’t.

Clark Creek would have been ideal if we had a boat or kayaks.  But we have neither.

We also discovered that we get terribly bored if we camp where there are no trails to explore.  We (and the dogs) need places to wander and discover new things.

Another natural valentine

Another natural valentine

So we are home now.  We’ll ride out the thunderstorms here instead of in the Casita in a campground.  🙂

And mushrooms

And mushrooms

....which I was too lazy to bother to try to identify..  :)

….which I was too lazy to bother to try to identify.. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Really Yummy Foraging

A mix of golden and smooth chanterelles

A mix of golden and smooth chanterelles

I’ve been through photo files today until I a bleary-eyed.  I decided instead of posting endless photos of what probably looks like weeds to most people, I’d just post some of the especially delicious wild foods I’ve found.

Smooth chanterelle

Smooth chanterelle

I used to be an avid wild plant forager.  But eventually I got bored with just wild veggies and started studying mushrooms — mainly to add some variety to our foraged meals.  I’ve slacked off on my study since we got, first the Aliner and then the Casita.  There was just too much other fun stuff to do outdoors.

But now the desire to get back out there and get serious about learning new plants — and new ways to use them — is becoming a compulsion.

So I am really anxious for spring to come!

Golden chanterelle

Golden chanterelle

I did forget to mention using day lily flower buds in my last post.  You can boil them like green beans, or my favorite way is to batter and fry them.  I hope to get some photos of lots of cooked wild edibles for you from our camping trips next year.

Another thing that most people would like — simply because they taste exactly like little potatoes — is groundnut bulbs.  I boil them in salty water until they swell up and the top of the skins starts popping to expose the white inner flesh, then toss them in butter and serve.  A simple, starchy, fun, filling side dish.  I’ve read that in some areas of the country that groundnuts have a slight turnip taste.  I’ve never run into that, though.

Daylily flower buds

Daylily flower buds

And then there’s the foraging that EVERYONE knows about — wild blueberries and blackberries.  Here’s what I did with my blackberries when I didn’t want to mess with making jelly.

So much for the low-carb diet!  🙂

Groundnuts

Groundnuts

blackberry cobbler

Blackberry cobbler

with ice cream

YUM!

Groundnut leaves.  Groundnuts generally grow by streams.

Groundnut leaves. Groundnuts generally grow by streams.

 

On edit – At the request of one of my readers, I’m adding a photo of groundnut leaves.

Woods, Mushrooms, a Flower & Wild Edibles

Our woods

Our woods

Today Ron took Sunny and Sheba to the groomer, so I had several hours to myself.  I decided to check out the woods to see what discoveries awaited me.

Some of these photos were taken in the woods.  Some were in the transition area between the woods and our yard.  And some of them are from our yard…. which has plenty of weeds growing in the lawn!  I like it that way!  🙂

Just beautiful!  I think it's a moss of some kind.

Just beautiful! I think it’s a moss of some kind.

Little brown mushrooms.

Little brown mushrooms.

More lbms (little brown mushrooms)

More lbms (little brown mushrooms)

Little white mushrooms.  Not edible.

Little white mushrooms. Not edible.

Berries the birds missed

Berries the birds missed

Greenbrier thorns.  Not fun to walk through!

Greenbrier thorns. Not fun to walk through!

Small greenbrier

Small greenbrier

Lichen

Lichen

Moss on fallen log

Moss on fallen log

A russula, I think

A russula, I think

A periwinkle -- perennial vinca.  One lone bloom was all I found.

A periwinkle — perennial vinca. One lone bloom was all I found.

Bracken.  Last years dead leaves show where edible fiddleheads will come up in spring

Bracken. Last years dead leaves show where edible fiddleheads will come up in spring

Tender, tasty chickweed

Tender, tasty chickweed

Two more edibles --field garlic and henbit

Two more edibles –field garlic and henbit

Wild strawberry leaves make a nutritious tea

Wild strawberry leaves make a nutritious tea

Edible suillus.  Before cooking, peel off the slimy cuticle to avoid digestive upset.  The white flesh is a decent edible.

Edible suillus. Before cooking, peel off the slimy cuticle to avoid digestive upset. The white flesh is a decent edible.

The pore surface of the suillus

The pore surface of the suillus

Just a pretty picture

Just a pretty picture

Autumn Splendor in the Woods

The forest floor decorated for fall

Most of the woods in the area are carpeted with predominantly brown leaves.  But while I was out walking today I passed an area where the fallen leaves were just blazing.

Maybe people farther north are used to colors like this, but this is breathtaking for Georgia.

I had not felt very well the past couple of days.  I decided to go for a walk to see if it would help perk me up.  Seeing those incredible colors was just the medicine I needed.  My energy level soared!

Last evening I saw one of the most stunning sunsets I’ve ever seen.  The sky looked like deep, molten flame, and the reflection on the lake was so intense that it looked like an extension of the sky.  I took over 30 photos trying to capture the colors — and not one of the pictures captured a fraction of the majesty.

Nature outdoing herself!

Seeing these gorgeous leaves today made up for last night’s disappointment.

The mushroom season is winding down.  All I’ve found lately are various amanitas, (poisonous) a few small ones I didn’t bother trying to identify, and an occasional suillus (edible, but mediocre).  And one more puffball the other day.

I haven’t found any hen of the woods (maitake), chicken of the woods (sulfur shelf), oyster mushrooms or the coveted bears head (hericium).  I guess it’s the drought… or I’ve just not been looking in the right woods.  This has been the most disappointing fall for mushrooms for me.  I read on the mushroom boards that people in other areas are finding them plentiful.  Maybe I’m just losing my touch!  🙂

The half-eaten mushroom is probably a russula.

I didn’t notice it today due to the constant wind, but the two previous days while Ron and I were out walking, we have gotten occasional whiffs of the most heavenly scent.  Something is flowering, and I have no idea what would be blooming in the woods in the fall with such a sweet, evocative fragrance.  Hope we are gifted with another whiff or two before we leave here Sunday morning.

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