Edible Mushrooms

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Huge Agaricus What do you do with a huge two pound mushroom? Make it into a pie!
All trimmed up and ready to be cut up, cooked and eaten. This specimen just opened up it's cap; the brown spores are not present yet. Click here for a higher resolution version of this image.

"The Prince" (Agaricus Agustus)

This is a whole bunch of immature buttons. This species of mushroom smells strongly like sweet almonds. This picture was taken with an old Pentax Auto 110 camera.

Black Morels

Twin Morel mushrooms growing alongside the trail along Bubb's Creek in King's Canyon National Park. There were only about 7 mushrooms growing here and there and they were very small. You're not supposed to touch mushrooms in a National Park, and I had no butter anyway, so I left 'em to the deer, which were nibbling them away as they strolled up and down the canyon.

One year after I took the picture above, I went hiking on a trail further north in the sierra and came across a patch of thousands of these mushrooms. Here is a single cluster of 7.

Chanterelles

Here's a whole table full of 'em. The better tasting chanterelles are the tiny ones, in my opinion. They resemble cashew nuts somewhat when they are that small.
One good idea is to take a small knife out while picking. If you trim the dirty part of the stem off before you put the mushroom in the basket, the process of cleaning the mushrooms when you get home is much easier.

One common species which can be confused with Chanterelles is the Woolly Chanterelle. It's a similar looking mushroom which grows in similar habitat. Fortunately, it's not deadly poisonous, and it's fairly easy to tell the two apart once you've seen a picture.

Here's a close-up of two Chanterelles growing on the forest floor. You can see the wavy edges of the cap. There is a great deal of shape variation of this species; the young mushrooms tend to look perfect; they can get this irregular look with age.

All photos Copyright © by Adam Lane. All rights reserved.