christopher's curiosity

how i pass my time

First mushroom hunt of the year

Last year there was a small fire near I84 on top of Cabbage Hill and since I've never had the chance to hunt burn morels I really wanted to do a scouting mission up there to see what I could find so I grabbed a couple friends and their dogs and went and had a look around. Unforunately we were either much too late or just a bit too early. I believe that we were a little early as there was still some snow in places and we didn't find any old morels, even if they're picked clean there will always be some that are missed. The plan is to go up again this weekend to check again and see how things are shaping up.

I took some pictures of a few mushrooms I found up there and two of them I've often seen around morels so I figured I'd try to identify them for future reference. Please note, I'm not a mycologist and I'm just identifying these by sight and smell. These small cups I believe are geopyxis vulcanalis or geopyxis carbonaria, I'm leaning towards g. vulcanalis.

The next mushroom I see a lot around morels are these small, dark brown caps. I can't identify these at all, maybe something in the Entolomatacceae family? I have no idea, let me know if you do!

The last mushroom I took a picture of might be the beginnings of a false morel, maybe something in the Gyromitra family like a gyromitra esculenta.

I love mushroom hunting, it's super fun and I have a hard time motivating myself to drive a long way out to "just hike" but if I'm mushroom hunting then it gives me a goal and a "reason" to get out and enjoy the woods. If you have any questions please get in touch, I'd love to find some more hunting partners/share tips!

Refernces for mushrooms: Alpental's Pictorial Key to Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Went back up to Cabbage Hill and there were some positive signs. First I'm fairy certain now that we are still a bit early for that elevation. My bet is that within two weeks we'll see some good morel harvesting. The last mushroom I thought was a false morel might not be one, I saw some in a more advanced stage and they turned into cups but this trip defintiely yeilded a flase morel, see below.