July Garrett County Mushrooms

July is one of the great mushroom seasons here in mid-Appalachia. Here are some mushrooms we found walking around our place in Friendsville.

Mushrooms are like fruit of larger organisms called fungi that live in the ground or wood or other places. Like us, fungi need to eat to survive; some fungi like the cordyceps shown down below eat bugs! Others live off of dead wood, helping to create soil. Many more fungi live in symbiotic relationships with trees and other plants. The trees feed fungi sugar in exchange for water and minerals that the fungi easily collect. Trees may also work together with fungi to redistribute nutrients across the fungal network to other trees. Mushrooms come in all shapes and sizes and right now many many shapes, colors and sizes can be found in the woods so it's a good time to get out and wander in the forest.

Click on any picture to see the full image.

Pretty Russulas

Russulas are the most common large mushrooms this time of year in our (very oak-y) woods. Russulas have white gills and are typically very brittle; their stems often will break like a piece of chalk. They are important food for forest wildlife, and appear in many beautiful colors.

Red Russula
Red russula
Gray Russula
A grayish-blue russula
Yellow Russula
Yellow russula
Almond-scented Russula
The russula in my hand is not much to look at but it has a powerful, wonderful almond scent!

Good eatin'!

Many delicious edible mushrooms are just now appearing in the woods, including some of my favorites like the Bradleys. Here are a few from last week...

A delicious chanterelle.
Another view of the chanterelle.
More chanterelles!
black trumpets
Black trumpets are choice delicious aromatic edibles, but they are well camouflaged!.
tiny chanterelle
A tiny chanterelle. There are dozens and dozens of mostly poorly known chanterelle species in the woods. Many are so tiny as to be not worth eating, but are still pretty!
jelly babies
Don't eat the Jelly babies -- I include them here because when I see them, I know trumpets are out and probably nearby!
Hygrophorous milky
A hygrophorous milky mushroom, almost identical in taste to my personal favorite edible, the Bradley mushroom. They are called milky because they exude a sap when cut (you can see a bit of sap in the picture). Bradleys look similar but have closely spaced gills and their milky sap stains everything dark brown. I haven't seen many Bradleys yet in the woods, but more are sure to be out soon!
baby sweet tooth
A baby sweet tooth mushroom.
sweet tooth showing teeth
A picked sweet tooth showing the distinctive teeth under the cap. These are excellent edibles, especially when very young like this!

Some other cool shrooms (not edible)

Another toothed mushroom
Another toothed mushroom related to the sweet tooth above, but not very tasty at all. Probably in the sarcodon genus. You can really see the teeth on this one!
Beautiful bolete
This strikingly beautiful shaggy-stalked bolete is someties called aureoboletus betula but the genus will probably change soon. Whataver you call it, it's amazing looking. It's also edible but the cap is quite small and besides, it's too pretty to eat. These are fairly common here.
shaggy stalked bolete
Here is another shaggy-stalked bolete, this one a bit older than the previous one (noticed the redder cap).
A clavaria or clavulinopsis
A lovely clavulinopsis coral mushroom.
An elegant stinkhorn
An elegant stinkhorn stripped of its spores by bugs that love the smell.
A beautiful cortinarius
This young cortinarius is so pretty I couldn't bear to pick it. But if I did you would see a cobwebby veil under the cap covering the gills.
A red hygrocybe
Not really sure of this, maybe a hygrocybe cuspidata. Very striking looking, the picture does not do it justice.
Yellow hygrocobye
A common yellow hygrocybe.
Winnea Americana
This cluster of cup fungi, winnea americana, are common here but relatively rare in Ohio.
Peziza Vesiculosa
Some kind of peziza species, maybe vesiculosa (it does not stain yellow when broken).
The famously cool looking witches butter jelly mushroom eating a dead branch.
bitter bolete
A big lovely looking bolete (with sponge-like pores below the cap). It looks tasty but is terribly bitter :(. But, more tasty boletes are sure to come later this summer!
Peck's lactarius
The beautiful brown capped mushroom with concentric circles in the moss above is Peck's lactarius. It's closely related to the excellent Bradley, but has a crazy hot acrid taste! (There are Russian methods for preparing this mushroom to eat, but I have not tried that yet...)
scaly vases
The scaly vase 'chanterelle' is common around our hemlock trees. It's cool looking but not edible, and not at all related to chanterelles.
This cordyceps mushroom is eating an insect grub below the ground. Yuck.
Blueing bolete cap Blueing bolete cut open
Here is an amazing bolete (sponge-pored) mushroom that Laura found called the 'blueing bolete' or gyroporous cyanescens. Every part of the mushroom turns brilliant indigo when bruised or cut open. These pictures show a close up of the distinctive cap, and the semi-hollow/cottony interior of the stem when cut open.