Foray Report: Dec. 17, 2006

by Bill Wolpert, foray leader

Foray at Ranchero Mark West

Going through the day's findings at Ranchero Mark West. Photo © Darvin DeShazer.

On December 17, about 20 SOMA members had the opportunity to foray on 120 acres of managed forest in the Mayacamas Range. Once a Christmas Tree farm, it is known as Ranchero Mark West and is owned by Jim and Betty Doerksen. Our hosts joined us on the hike to better learn about mushrooms and keep us from getting too far off course.

Rain had been in the forecast a couple days earlier, but clear skies the night before brought freezing temperatures in the mid-20s. Heavy frost was still all over the vegetation when we started out at 10:15. We followed Mark West Creek downstream and the first fungi we encountered were frozen solid....like a rock. After about a ½ mile, we crossed over the creek and started uphill through bay and redwoods. The temperature lost its bite as we climbed higher along the steep dirt road. At the ridge, the forest became more mixed with Doug fir, madrone, and tan and live oak.

You could overhear optimistic foragers saying that the habitat looked good for queen boletes and matsutakis. But Lactarius, Russula, Suillus and Mycena species were the most common along with the ever present Amanita. There were also some good mushrooms bagged for the dye pot. Betty and Jim said that yellow chanterelles are sometimes abundant, but so far this year none had been seen.

The whole loop was just over a mile and a half and gained about 500 feet vertically. In usual SOMA style, we covered an available picnic table with our bounty while photos were taken and questions answered. Lunches were brought out and the huckleberry buckle was not to be missed.

Species List

by Darvin DeShazer

Mushrooms in the creek zone were frozen solid and the ones on top of the hill in full sun were melted goo. Edibles were found, but nothing in large quantities, except Lactarius rubrilacteus. Dye mushrooms were the score of the day and they were saved for SOMA Camp.

  1. Agaricus subrutilescens
  2. Alboleptonia sericella
  3. Amanita franchetii
  4. Amanita lanei
  5. Amanita vaginata
  6. Armillaria sinapina
  7. Chalciporus piperatus
  8. Clavaria vermicularis
  9. Entoloma sp.
  10. Entoloma ferruginans
  11. Fomitopsis cajanderi
  12. Fomitopsis pinicola
  13. Galerina sp.
  14. Gomphidius oregonensis
  15. Helvella lacunosa
  16. Hygrocybe conica
  17. Hygrophorus agathosmus
  18. Hygrophorus eburneus
  19. Hypholoma fasciculare
  20. Hypomyces cervinigenus
  21. Inocybe lilacina
  22. Inocybe sororia
  23. Laccaria amethysteo-occidentalis
  24. Lactarius alnicola
  25. Lactarius rubrilacteus
  26. Lactarius xanthogalactus
  27. Lenzites betulina
  28. Lepiota spheniscispora
  29. Leucopaxillus gentianeus
  30. Marasmius plicatulus
  31. Mycena sp.
  32. Mycena pura
  33. Myxomphalia maura
  34. Nolanea sp.
  35. Omphalotus olivascens
  36. Pluteus cervinus
  37. Polyporus hirtus
  38. Psathyrella sp.
  39. Pseudohydnum gelatinosum
  40. Russula azurea
  41. Russula brevipes
  42. Stereum hirsutum
  43. Suillus caerulescens
  44. Trametes versicolor
  45. Xerocomus chrysenteron
  46. Xerocomus subtomentosus
  47. Xeromphalina cauticinalis