|A nice flush of chicken of the woods (Laetiporus sulphereus) This particular flush had a different growth form than the mushrooms I found at a different site last year. They were much thinner, and had wavier margins with much less yellow (Photo by Jenna Crovo).|
I can't say the find was completely serendipitous because I had found the mushrooms a year earlier, but, I was working so I wasn't trekking through the woods searching for the sulphur shelf. I did, however, tell all my coworkers to keep their eyes out for any orange mushrooms growing on hardwoods. On a gravel road through the mountains, Alice spotted a large dead "log covered in orange." I couldn't bear the possibility of passing up potential wild edibles*, so we took a quick break to climb down the ravine and get a closer look.
|Here is what you could see from the road at the top of the ravine (this is with the camera's zoom). It looks promising, but one can't be sure. For example, the could be jack o' lanterns (Photo by Jenna Crovo).|
The short break was worth it! The huge beech log was covered with chicken of the woods! There were so many, you could see the spores in the air as the wind blew! I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.
|It was hard to get the whole log in one frame. (Photo by Jenna Crovo)|
|What looks like a blur in the picture is actually spores blowing off the mushrooms. (Photo by Jenna Crovo)|
|Another angle. Note the bright colors. (Photo by Jenna Crovo)|
|Here is the growth form I'm used to. (Photo by Carol Johnston)|
|A closer shot. (Photo by Alice Best)|
|I also used opportunity to educate children about harvesting mushrooms and properly identifying mushrooms. I also emphasized the idea that they must NEVER eat any wild mushrooms without consulting a trusted adult first. (Photo by Alice Best)|