Category mushrooms

Adventures of the Boomer ‘Shroomers! – Matsutake Time!

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MATSUTAKE TIME above 8500-feet!!! It’s Joy’s favorite ‘shroom, and she gets so excited when looking for “humps” in the duff at the base of Ponderosa Pines–White Matsu’s (Tricholoma magnivelare, aka Mutsutake) in Colorado are like truffles in that they often do NOT break the ground surface. Therefore, they’re a little harder to find.

Because it’s now bow-hunting elk, black-powder deer, and soon-to-be bear hunting season season up here, ‘shroomers need to be as conspicuous at possible. Here’s what Joy is wearing this Matsutake hunting season:

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Note all the red; the bells hanging from her belt, two types of red trowels (long and short), and the whistle hanging from her hat. Yup, Joy is always safety conscious when it comes to dressing up for matsutakes.

The next picture shows Joy about to dig...

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Adventures of the Boomer ‘Shroomers! – Brainard Lake ‘n’ the King Bolete

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Yippee!!! Rocky Mountain King Boletes are sprouting at about 10000 feet! But first a picture of Vuggie and the VW Rabbit at the Brainard Lake Picnic Area:

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Note the pale Rainbow! The mountain to the right is the glaciated Mt. Audubon (13,223′)–an Eocene-Paleocene grano-syenite intrusion (i.e., for you geos, the Audubon-Albion Stock.) Yeah, sexy geology up here.

Okay back to the shrooms:

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Could it be? Gotta look beneath the cap to be sure!

YES!!!

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Oh, what a Happy Camper. It IS the famous Rocky Mountain King Bolete (i.e., the Italians call them “Porcini”, the Germans “Steinpilz”, aka Boletus edulis!) Yup, old T’s favorite shroom–so he smiles big.

The many trails around the Pawnee Campground (1.5-hour drive from Denver) were full of many kinds of shrooms. And here’s an identification trick:

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Adventures of the Boomer ‘Shroomers! – Hall Valley Campground

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Hall Valley Campground in Pike National Forest is one of our favorites during August as very tasty shrooms can be found nearby.

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Hall Valley is an easy 1.3-hour drive from Denver, and we enjoy the scenery and geology of the place too.

Joy and our dog Campbell always find Aspen Boletes (Leccinum insigne):

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Last week Joy found some pretty Oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) growing on aspen stumps, and they smell so good too.

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While old T found chanterelles (Cantharellus ciborium) and Meadow Mushrooms (Agaricus campestris). Meadow and Prince Mushrooms (an earlier post) are better tasting relatives to the white button, portabello, and crimini shrooms you find in the produce section of grocery stores.

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Yup, Hall Valley and surrounding forests are indeed a nice place to find tasty fungus t...

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Adventures of the Boomer ‘Shroomers! – Hall Campground ‘n’ the Princes

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The PRINCES (Agaricus augustus) are out!! This week while at Hall Valley we found a few, but never enough:

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Campbell (our Westie) and T pose with three Princes on a slope at about 8100′ elevation. It’s our favorite Agaricus.

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Here’s the best one, note the large cap with brown freckles on top, when young it’s cap is marshmallow shaped.

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Like all Agaricus the gills are pink when young and turn brown with age; yup Agaricus species are also the button shrooms we buy in the stores. Note the shaggy stem and the ring around the stem, all Agaricus have them. Princes smell like almonds, that’s how T recognizes them.

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Joy had never seen one before, so had to study the books to get aquainted.

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Cooked up in olive oil and butter with lots of garlic...

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Adventures of the Boomer ‘Shroomers – Vuggie ‘n’ Hummers

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Fun times Colorado ‘shrooming, and with all the Hummingbirds in the mountains we thought we would add a feeder to Vuggie:

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A Droll Yankees ($15 window-feeder) was on sale at True Value and it has large suction cups, insect/bee guards, and a cleaning brush.

A few minutes later:

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Pretty fun in the Hall Valley Campground, as our feeder was attracting Broadtail Hummers (Selasphorus platycercus) all day. Fellow campers came over and enjoyed with us the Hummer acrobatics and territorial behavior.

Will try to post some more shroom pictures maybe tomorrow.

Nighty-night, T & Joy

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Adventures of the Boomer ‘Shroomers – Pawnee ‘n’ the Vuggie

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Pawnee Campground just west of Ward, Colorado is one of our favorites with Vuggie for the following reasons:

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1) Paved asphalt off Highway 92 all the way (+10,500-feet above sea-level);
2) BEAR BOXES (note the brown one left of Vuggie above);
3) nearby lakes (Brainard, Blue, Mitchell) with nice level hikes <3 miles;
4) and, the local flora and fauna!

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Thanx to Sue and Michael Ryan of Boulder, fellow Pawnee campers who took the pictures of the MOOSE BULLS* grazing near Brainard Lake, and graciously let us post here.

Happy Camping, T & Joy

* Like FISH the plural of MOOSE is MOOSE (NOT MEESE). But our favorite “Moose” plural was what our Labrador/Canadian clients call them: “Newfie Speed-bumps”

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Adventures of the Boomer ‘Shroomers! – Rocky Mtn. King Bolete

Found these beauties this morning near Webster Pass, Colorado. Yeah I'm a happy Birthday Geezer at 61.
Found these beauties this morning near Webster Pass, Colorado. Yeah I'm a happy Birthday Geezer at 61.

Found these beauties this morning near Webster Pass, Colorado. Yeah I’m a happy Birthday Geezer at 61.

Ah, it’s apparently Colorado Monsoon season up here. This morning, towns along the Front Range are flooding, and Interstate 70 got partially blocked by a mudslide near Wolcott Junction.

It’s been raining all last night and all morning here in Lakewood, and Joy just spotted another leak in my gutters–oh, Joy! Rain gauge in the backyard says 2.7-inches since yesterday. The veggie gardens, trees, and grasses are loving it after all the +90°F temperatures. High today forecast in the mid-60’s–yeah, as old Colorado Boomers like us tend to wilt when temps hit 85°.

Us ‘shroomers love it too, ’cause it means in about 5 to 10 days T’s favorite big Rocky Mountain King Bolete mushrooms (aka porcini...

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Adventures of the Boomer ‘Shroomers! – The King Bolete

King & Aspen Boletes

Rocky Mountain King Bolete Pictures

Joy found this big “King” (aka Boletus edulis or Porcini) last August near Nederland. Note: Kings have light tan-to-yellowish pores on the underside of the cap, as boletes have pores instead of gills under the cap. DO NOT EAT any bolete with RED pores!!

 

Found about 100' from Tent

Found about 100′ from Tent

King & Aspen Boletes

That day in August 2013 we found a few and left even more.

Regards, T & Joy

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