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Everything posted by Staveshaver

  1. Nothing yet here for me in Butler county, although a few of my friends are finding a few here and there. I picked some Dryads Saddles and Watercress two days ago. It's been quite cool at night, but is supposed to warm up tomorrow. I'm going to hit it hard here in a few days.
  2. All very interesting. Boy, you should have seen it Dave... I live in Butler county btw... one day I went way down deep into this area, where I used to bow hunt near some old apple trees, crabapples, hawthorns, and combed it until I was exhausted and frustrated... found nothing, zilch... was taking/busting through the most direct route through the wall of multifora rose to a horse trail that would lead me back in the general direction of the truck. I labored up this steep hill, into the pines, stepped onto the trail, and right there at my feet 2' off the trail, growing in the white pine needles, was this perfect, gianormous yellow morel, with a beam of the late morning sunshine behind it illuminating it like an apparition. It was a cool moment. I searched the area and found over a dozen more, but none quite as nice as that one.
  3. I have a lot to learn about them yet, but found as many morels near trees I hadn't previously heard they were associated with. White pine, aspen, and hawthorn for example. Found some real beauties in the pines, 8-9" tall. And my best spot is all hawthorn trees. Hopefully the weather cooperates this year. Good luck to all.
  4. Hi folks, been a few months since I've checked in here. Hope everyone is happy and healthy and still enjoying last year's bounty. 2018 was a super year for mushrooms here in western Pa. I hope you did as well as we did. Winter is a busy time in its own ways. So many projects and inside jobs and various hobbies, but I'm excited by the feel of spring weather, and my thoughts automatically, or instinctively, recognize a time of new growth, of getting back out there to hunt mushrooms again. Thank goodness for the off season, because it's nice to get a break for a few months. I get kind of crazy about them for most of the year that it's kind of nice to not think about them for a while. lol. I have so many mushrooms in the freezer and dehydrated that I don't really 'need' more, but that is certainly no deterrent. For me, and many of you I'm sure, it's more about the hunt, learning, sharing, and enjoying the time outdoors. What I don't have a cache of, or have never found in enough numbers to worry about long term preservation, are morels... and they're right around the corner. Won't be long. I found a pretty good spot on the Pa game lands, and they, the Pa game commission, decided my morel hotspot needed brush hogged... due to the multiflora rose I think. Just my luck. Nothing grew there last year. I've hear morels liked disturbed ground, but I think the multifora rose offered them the shade and resulting moist soil they liked. Oh well, I'll be doing my best to figure out where they are and why. The fact that I don't have their number yet, and might never, inspires me to hunt harder. I heard they were finding them down in Georgia already. Anybody else anxious to get out there?
  5. Nice pics. Mushrooms are awesome!
  6. Here's a baby I found on 9/28 And here's the same tree 9 days later. They were edible, but just past their prime imo, with a tiny hint of that odor they get when they get old. It had just rained and they were soaking wet. I should have returned around day 6, but you can't be everywhere at once. I found 3 salamanders in these ones.
  7. Like Eat-bolete, if I find babies like in your first picture, I give them 3-5 days and go back. I have waited a full week and wished I had returned sooner... edible, but not prime. Depends some on conditions though. I'd say if a hen hasn't grown at all in 3 days, it's done growing and I'd pick it.
  8. I'm not good at distinguishing between the boletes, just beginning with them, so I'm not even sure what they were exactly. Dry, velvety tan on top, white underneath, under red oaks, sometimes within sight of where I'd found chanterelles a month earlier.
  9. Nice. I've found a bunch recently too. All whites. All I've ever found are whites.
  10. Here in Western Pa, Butler county, I've found plenty of Boletes this year... A lot actually. It's been a great year for everything here that I hunt... except Morels. I found a few, but nothing to write home about.
  11. That's a beaut, Clark!!! I've found a handful of them that big this year. It's been a landmark year for Hens here. One of them was a virtual twin to yours. Same size, shape, and color. But I bet mine weighed more.... unfortunately... I had to walk away from it initially because I saw two bowhunters approach and stand nearby to survey the area for the evening's hunt. I thought it was funny that they were camo'd head to toe, including facemasks, and I was in my street clothes,,, yet I stood there watching them for almost 10 minutes, and they never saw me.... until I wanted them to. There were several Hens around that tree, 18 of them around a tree 80 yards or so downhill, 11 around a tree a stone's throw up the hill, with 46 total right there in the immediate area. When I came back early the next day to harvest, I found the best one, the twin to yours to be EXCEPTIONALLY heavy when I cut it and tried to lift it. It was FULL of dirt and red ants inside. They used it as their anthill. I never saw that before. I began dissecting it, and trying to shake the ants and dirt out of the pieces, but I couldn't get it all out, and it had that 'red ant smell'... ever smell that? It's unique, and I didn't want to be tasting that in my mushrooms so I just scattered it around the tree and focused on the others. Nice find. And I hope you got to make better use of yours than I did mine.
  12. I have talked with them a few times. Most are nice guys, but a few are buttheads. Some don't even know the laws. But it's legal to pick mushrooms, berries, and such on Pa state parks. It's in the Game Commission rules and regulation summary book that they give you when you buy a hunting license here. The last time I ran in to a DCNR Park Ranger, I no sooner got out of the truck and he pulled in right behind me. I thought.... Oh boy, here we go. But he was a nice guy, knew exactly why I was there(there were over a dozen giant, ancient oaks there), and it turned out he was a mushroom hunter too. He said he's seen other guys checking the spot, so I actually never went back. I have enough other, more secluded spots and don't like the competition.
  13. It's easy to take an abundance of public land for granted, and I try not to. I try to remain grateful. But I (we, including the relative few others who do it) can only cover so much ground, and I can't help but think about the thousands.... millions... of mushrooms left to rot on lonely public land... so I go more often, walk farther, try harder... but as I do so, I'm getting older... the hills get steeper... creeks get wider :^)
  14. Hit or miss here... like the Whisperer said, about 3 out of 5 if I'm lucky. Got a major flush going on right now on a tree that produced 40+ lbs two years ago... nothing at all last year, zero. Another tree that produced HEAVY in 2016 hasn't shown anything since. Rain and timing is good this year... I'm watching it closely.. Personally, I'm glad they(and so many others) don't produce every year like clockwork at the same place, otherwise I wouldn't have to HUNT them, and I probably would lose interest. I'm finding that the hunt is mostly why I do it.
  15. Nice. The more they're shaded, the closer to the tree, and the tighter they're tucked into the crotches of the root buttresses the whiter they seem to be, but they sometimes end up all wrinkled and distorted in shape being tucked in tightly like that. But those are growing outward and seem well formed. Are they white because they're growing on a beech? I've never found one on a beech.
  16. They are more common here than I originally thought. For some reason I thought they were like a needle in a haystack.... but I find them regularly here in western Pa... and I'm certainly not looking for them. In hindsight, I think maybe I heard from folks who live where they don't grow as often, or perhaps partly because subconsciously at least, I thought that something that dangerous, 'must be' less prolific. Now that I know what to look for, I see them pretty regularly.... especially late summer into fall. I saw these this week... and saw a handful of others that hadn't opened yet... wish now I would have taken pics of them too... they called to me... but I was on a steadfast Sheepshead mission. See the third one?
  17. And yet I've never found a single one. Time and place.... when/where I'm obviously absent.
  18. Nice. That's a whopper. I found some yesterday and today. Not that big, but they were in their prime. Popped up just the last few days. Rain then cooler temps.... hello! I left a few of the younger ones to grow for a few days. More rain and cooler temps coming tomorrow. Gonna hit the old faithful spots this weekend.
  19. I do most of my shroom hunting on public land. I live in Pa. We have a lot of public land and I spend a lot of time there hunting... and just being in the woods. I hunt mushrooms in state parks, city parks, state game lands, state and national forests, etc. It's actually easy for me because those types of properties are all around where I work and live. I just got back from picking Sheepshead in a city park(they were PRIME by the way, perfect). Many, many folks out today bicycling, running, walking, having parties at pavilions, etc.... I was the only one shroomin' as far as I could tell. Beautiful cool day. Too many people out. I was being seen. Can't have that! I bailed out and will check those more 'public' spots during the week before folks get off work. One bicyclist today was really studying me as I harvested 10 Maitake from around a single tree. I have to remember not to go there on the weekends from now on. But private property? I respect landowners like it was my own place, and I certainly wouldn't want anyone sneaking onto my property and stealing my mushrooms. Would you? I don't trespass while hunting deer, squirrels, turtles, mushrooms, or anything. Any time I've asked, I was granted permission. I generally offer half of what I find to the landowner. Unfortunately for them, nobody has taken me up on it. Folks usually think they're gross, or don't trust that they won't be poisonous. I know where I could go right now and get Sheepshead growing in folks' yards(as they do every year), but won't, because I just haven't stopped in 'yet' to ask permission. Yesterday a friend and coworker called me to come pick Sheepshead that was growing along his driveway. I tried repeatedly to get him and his wife to keep some and try it, told them how to store it and cook it, but they wouldn't. They said they're rather get their mushrooms from the store. I also found a half dozen old Chanterelles less than 6' from the 4 Sheepshead there. Gonna have to remember that :^) They probably wouldn't want them either :^) I've picked a lot of mushrooms on private property the last few years. I always ask. Never been turned down. I give a bunch away throughout the year too, to folks who appreciate getting and eating them as much as I appreciate others allowing me to hunt them on their property. Just ask. Ya might make a new friend.
  20. You guys are killing me. I haven't found a trumpet yet. Haven't been hunting them in earnest, but keeping my eyes peeled while hunting chants. I need to learn more about their preferred habitat. Looks like they like moss and oaks? I heard they like to grow near creeks? I think I remember hearing they like beech trees? They're certainly beautiful.
  21. Nice. I figured they were about done here and didn't go out for a while. Then was driving down a back road past one of my spots and there they were all over the bank and up through the woods. They were a little too old to pick though. I screwed up this year and tried to pinpoint the timing and conditions to closely. Gonna do things different next year.
  22. Nice. I like how they look too. Unique. Looks like an Oreo blizzard... with LOTS of Oreos. Same here, John, I've happened upon them easy enough, but haven't tried to eat one yet.
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