If you have been wandering the woodlands of the Upper Delaware River region recently, it is likely you have encountered many different types of mushrooms. Fascinating fungi of various forms and …
If you have been wandering the woodlands of the Upper Delaware River region recently, it is likely you have encountered many different types of mushrooms. Fascinating fungi of various forms and colors can be found throughout the forests of the Northeast, and are interesting subjects worth studying.
On a recent ramble at Shohola Falls Recreation Area in Shohola, PA, I rounded a bend along a stony trail and stumbled upon a brilliant swath of cinnabar-red chanterelle mushrooms ablaze at my feet. Their luminous glow against the dark soil was both fetching and eye-catching. The vivid color, which can range from red to flame-like orange—and sometimes even neon pink—was hard to miss.
While many mushroom foragers focus on the more widely recognized golden chanterelle, the significantly smaller cinnabar-red is also a tasty edible.
Always be certain of the identification of any mushroom before consuming it. A mistake can cost you your life. As the author Sir Terry Pratchett wryly put it, “All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once.”
Other ground-fruiting mushrooms that might gain your attention at this time of year are the coral fungi. The cluster depicted in this column had begun to fade, but its bright yellow spindles still blazed against the drab leaf litter. While many coral fungi are edible, they are also more challenging to identify accurately, so practice caution and seek the guidance of experts.
If you are mad about mushrooms, you are in luck. Renowned regional herbalist Nathaniel Whitmore will lead a guided walk at Lacawac Sanctuary Environmental Education Center in Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania on Saturday, September 16.
Participants will learn how to locate and identify various species, along with the conservation, ethics and practice of picking and eating mushrooms. The event runs from 10 a.m. until 12 noon and costs $7 per person. Visit secure.qgiv.com/for/pafe/event/mushrooms/ to complete the required registration.
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