Hiking – Oh, those ‘shrooms
In late August 2018, we went hiking on the trail we “adopted” in the Black Rock Forest. Unlike other parts of the country this summer, the weather has been very damp in the Northeast. The last month or two have produced a lot of rain, which makes conditions perfect for the growth of fungi. I decided to take photos of the various mushrooms from the trail, to see if I could figure out what they were. I was most curious about whether they were poisonous or not. So here they are!
I thought it would be easy to identify all the mushrooms. Just do a Google Image search, and I’d get the answer. These orangey mushrooms were growing in the soil, and looked very flowery. I did an image search, and after quite a bit of time searching for a match, gave up. I only found one photo that was similar, and that picture was captioned “wild mushrooms.” That didn’t help much! Then I read that while there are 10,000 known mushrooms, that only represents a very small percentage of total fungi types. One source said there were 5M types in existence. Perhaps I found something new!
Then I pulled up the next sample that I found in the Orange County woods. I was a little more successful finding information about this one, after giving up the image search function and just using my own search criteria. The mushroom on the right might be something called a Cortinarius Iodes, which has a small purple cap that eventually develops yellow spots and streaks as it gets older. It starts off violet and winds up grayish brown. I’m glad I found it when I did. Apparently, this is edible and won’t kill me, but it’s not “recommended” to eat it. I have a feeling it might be pretty but taste terrible.
My first thought with the mushroom in the photo to the left was that it looked a lot like a white coral, so I conducted an Internet search for “white coral mushroom”. I got lucky right away. I found some very similar photos that refer to a species called Clavulina coralloides. There are many different types of this fungus, and I’m not sure exactly which version I spotted. This one might be edible as well; there are too many varieties to know for sure.
After looking up a few of these mushrooms, I gave up. There were just too many different types that I found on this one hike and I couldn’t spend the entire day researching them. So I decided to just share the photos here. Also, in case you were wondering, I decided NOT to put any of these on my pizza. Although they all look delicious, I wouldn’t want to tempt fate.