During the last two weekends, Sarah and I hiked some forests near the coast with our eyes focused on the ground. Sarah was preparing a presentation on mushrooms for her Audubon volunteers, so we were seeking fungi to help he prepare.
Our first hike was around Whalen Island State Park. We are in the middle of the Oregon mushroom season, so we had no trouble finding fungi, but since we did not have a permit to pick on State land, we did not bring any home to eat.
A week later, we walked through Oswald West State Park near Cannon Beach. In addition to mushrooms, we found many trees growing out of nurse logs.
The western hemlock above looks like it is trying to lift an old log off the ground.
Here are a few of the mushrooms we found and tried to identify:
A lobster mushroom, actually two species in one - a large white mushroom covered by a second, red fungus which lends it a distinctive flavor.
We also found non-gilled species such as this large bolete that has spongy tissue on the underside of the cap.
Polypore fungi were growing on nearly every snag.
We found numerous coral fungi on the forest floor as well.
Now that we know a little more about mushrooms than before, we are eager to return to the forest and harvest a meal.