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Sunday, December 12, 2010


Fall 2010 - Wild Mushrooms - Skyline Ridge


The Elusive Chanterelles

Cannot be lack of rains; we got enough.  Perhaps the unusually cold temperature that prevailed in the past three weeks inhibited the emergence of wild mushrooms.   In the areas where I do my foraging, the pickings have been meager.

During my walks in the woods I have found oyster mushrooms, a few  shaggy manes (delicious), but not a single chanterelle.  Last season was bountiful.  The first chanterelles appeared before Thanksgiving and they continued to be available in February.

Shaggy Manes need to be cooked as soon as possible.  They don't keep.  David Arora, in his comprehensive book Mushrooms DeMystified wrote:

"Well, it is not a bad idea to melt the butter before picking the shaggy manes." 

Shaggy Manes

© David Arora - Mushrooms DeMystified
Oyster Mushrooms

Big Laughing Jim (Gymnopilus spectabilis)


  The underside of a Gymnopilus spectabsilis

UnedibleThe clusters of Big Laughing Jims look good.  But stay away from eating them.  Toxic, hallucinogenic.

Skyline Ridge on a December afternoon

Easily accessible, located 1 mile south of Page Mill/Alpine Road and Skyline Blvd (Hwy 35), Skyline Ridge is another preserve of the Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space District (MROSD). Good hiking trails, not too strenuous. And there are a few picnic tables in a grove of trees overlooking Horseshoe Lake.

Robins on a Pine Tree
Ring-necked ducks in Horseshoe Lake, Skyline Ridge

A bench for weary feet

The plaque on the bench

Deer grazing at Skyline Ridge

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