Foray Reports

Foray Reports

November 2023 

We were lucky enough to have 2 different all-club forays in November, and chanterelles and lobsters were found on both.

The Veterans Day weekend foray started out dry but then turned to rain – well it is November in the Olympics.  Twenty-six people turned out, including new in-training foray leaders, and we split up into groups to see what we could find.  Russulas of many species, Admirable boletes, Pine Spikes and various Laccaria were all common.  Someone even found some very faded Pig’s Ears.

The next weekend the weather could not have been more different! Dry without being cold, no concerns of flooding, so out we went, with rainbows in the sky.  Thirty-eight people made the trek for this one.  Our new Membership Coordinator had spent the previous night camping in the area and brought in lots of different shrooms to show people.  Lots of edibles were found on this one including some very choice ones that are not usually found on our forays.  Common finds were some huge Brown Elfin saddles (Gyromitra infula) as well as the more common Black Elfin saddles (Helvella vespertina); Amethyst Laccaria; Purple Corts; Sulfur tufts; and all kinds of Ramarias and Russulas.  Some of our finds got brought in to the next meeting for people to admire.

The weekend after that – freezing temperatures.  So that may be the end of the chanterelles and lobsters (or not) but it should be just the beginning of the yellowfoots.  Some mushrooms like the colder temperatures.

October 2023 

The Wynoochee Camping Foray was kind of a bust.  It was basically my worst-case scenario – no rain, until the day of the foray.  So, few mushrooms up because it had been too dry, then absolutely pouring rain the day of the foray.  Most people left early and the potluck was cancelled.  But, we got 30 different species and we made good use of the club’s rain canopies! And the firewood donated by Steve Ness.  But it took me a week to get all the gear dry afterwards.

We kicked off the real mushroom season in early October with a large group in a park near Olympia.  Roughly 40 people of all ages turned out to meander down the trails through the park. While we didn’t compose a species list we did find a whole lotta different species on our meander.  We did have trouble with yellowjacket nests though, which is not typical for our forays – usually all the stinging wasps are gone by the time we’re out hunting for mushrooms.

Next up was the annual Coastal Forests foray in mid October with a small group of enthusiasts.  Another very successful outing with good harvests of edibles and 23 species identified, ranging from the little purple Phellodons to ginormous gaudy Fly Agarics.  False chanterelles were everywhere so people got to learn that one.  Some of our finds got brought in to the next meeting for people to admire.

Late October brought another small group foray with a new foray leader in a new site for the club and we are very happy with how that worked out.  We saw a number of species along with a few edibles.  And the next week, he led another small group into the Olympics, where participants were drilled in how easy it is to get lost in the forest while mushroom hunting.  Don't be that person!

Coastal Forest October 15th, 2023

The weather was as good as could be expected – mild temperatures, no wind, only scattered light showers for rain.  Twenty three people turned out for our Coastal Forest foray led by Corinne Srsen, with many newcomers and first-timers and a few familiar faces.  Mushrooms were plentiful – fly agarics, false chanterelles, phellodons, various Suillus and Russulas – and king boletes, nice ones.  We had a nice spread of interesting mushrooms at the end and while I have not been able to identify everything, we have this list of 23 species, with help from Rose Tursi and Eric Chandler.  A few random passersby stopped to admire our collection too, and ask about mushrooms and the club.  A lot of people learned to distinguish false from true chanterelles! the park was full of the false ones.

Species List


Amanita muscaria                   Fly agaric

Boletus edulis                          King bolete, Porcini

Cantharellus formosus          Chanterelle

Chroogomphus ochraceus    Olive Pine spike

Cortinarius spp.

Fomitopsis ochracea              Ochre Polypore

Gymnopilus junonius              Jumbo Gym

Hydnellum concrescens         Zoned Tooth fungus

Hypholoma fasciculare           Sulfur Tuft

Hyprophoropsis aurantiaca   False chanterelle

Laccaria amethysteo-occidentalis Amethyst Laccaria

Lactarius deliciosus               Milk Cap

Leccinum sp.                          Scaber Stalk

Phellodon melaleucus            Purple & Gray Tooth fungus

Postia ptychogaster                Powder Puff Polypore

Russula brevipes                    Short stalked Russula

Russula xerampelina and others Shrimp Russulas

Sarcodon scabrosus                Bitter Tooth fungus

Scleroderma bovista               Potato Earthball

Suillus brevipes                      Short stalked Suillus

Suillus tomentosus                 Cracked-cap Suillus

Tricholoma aurantium                        Orange Trich

Tricholoma imbricatum          Matt Knight

Wynoochee Foray Sept 22-24, 2023

Foray Coordinator - Regina Johnson

25 people braved a serious downpour to hunt for whatever mushrooms we could find around Wynoochee Lake.  It had been another dry summer, second in a row, and this was the first significant rain – too late to pop anything for the foray.  But the season looks so much more promising now!  We put the 2 club-owned rain canopies to good use.  It rained so hard, small alder trees were knocked over, and rain gear was useless.  Most people did find some lobsters and Chicken of the Woods was common too, but those were pretty much the only edibles found.  We did as a group bring back 30 different species though so that’s pretty good – more than one species per person.  And someone did find a couple of baby chanterelles for the newbies to compare to the numerous False Chanterelles brought back.  Black-footed Polypores and Stalked Puffballs were numerous too.  Due to how wet everyone and all their gear was, the potluck was cancelled.  But it does look like there will be mushrooms this year!

Stay Tuned for More Forays.

Wynoochee Foray Sept 23-25, 2022

Foray Coordinator - Regina Johnson

The weather was absolutely perfect for camping, so you can guess that it was poor for mushroom hunting.  Perfectly clear, daytime temperatures in the 70s, no wind.  Despite rain over Labor Day weekend, the brush and moss and ground were all perfectly dry and the roads quite dusty.  It was very pleasant for wandering around looking for mushrooms, just hardly anything to find.  About a dozen people attended the potluck Saturday night, and a different dozen or so were in and out on Friday evening.  Most people came just for the day on Saturday.  Google still messed people up so they arrived late; one woman missed us completely.  Coho campground filled Friday night, so some people camped at Satsop Center, which did not fill, and one woman stayed in the motel in Montesano. Satsop Center no longer has the bunk house people used in the past.  I think a couple of people doubled up on campsites.  There was space for one tent in the club’s campsite, #56, which was offered but no one used it.  I wasn’t sure how many people would be milling around on Saturday but it turned out there was plenty of room for someone to camp.  The campsite was much easier to get in and out of than the group site we used in the past! And it wasn’t a nuisance to be next to the restrooms where it would have been really annoying for a camper.  With only 23 species and few specimens, the ID table did not even fill up the one picnic table.  But people had a good time, and one new member commented that he learned more from us in 2 days than he had in years mushrooming in his previous hometown, where there is no club.

Tons of COW, some Bitter Boletes, a handful each of lobsters and Tapinellas, the usual conks.  Lots of Picipes.  Notable by their absence: chanterelles, dyer’s polypore, cauliflowers, wooly chanterelles.

Species list

11/13/2021 Wynoochee Lake

Foray Coordinator - Regina Johnson

Six people assembled at the picnic area at Wynoochee Lake in a break between Pineapple Expresses on Saturday Nov 13.  The weather behaved as forecast, with no rain all morning, and warm temperatures.  The area was quiet, few people wanting to trust the forecast.  But, the mushrooms all seem to be taking the year off after a brutal summer.  Despite what must have been a couple of feet of rain since the drought broke in October, few mushrooms were evident.  Lots of Admirable Boletes and even a couple of Zeller’s were the most common, along with Black-footed Polypores and what are most likely Sulfur Tufts, and lots of things too rain-worn to identify.  Notable by their absence were the expected edibles: chanterelles, lobsters, hedgehogs.  One rain-worn Sparassis was found, a handful of worn chanterelles, debris from numerous chicken of the woods, and a stump from a harvested lobster, were all that was found in the way of edibles.  Notable was a clump of giant bird’s-nest fungus, Cyathus olla, a first for everyone in the group.  A reasonably fresh Western Grisette and a very worn Wooly Chanterelle were educational.  One very waterlogged Bondarzewia occidentalis, from the FunDIS Rare 10 challenge, was found but not collected as it was too far gone to make a decent specimen.  The Rare 10 Challenge determined that this species is not rare after all, just seriously undercollected, so that was useful information to get from community science.

Species list

And lots of stuff too rain-worn to identify.

11/13/2021 Pack Forest, Ashford, WA

Foray Coordinators - Rose Tursi, Rachel Friedman

On November 13 approximately 15 folks joined Rose Tursi and Rachel Friedman (with support from Eric and Jen Chandler) for a foray at Pack Forest near Ashford WA.  The weather for the morning was blessedly dry.  While no chanterelles or other edibles were found, the group was active in finding a large variety of fungi.  We had attendees from the Olympia area, Gig Harbor and even San Francisco.  We had one family with a 3 1/2 year old who stole the show with his love and knowledge of fungi.  There were rank beginners and others who knew a bit about mushroom identification.  Everyone seemed to have a great time and were very appreciative.  Rose did a great job identifying fungi and telling great stories and providing useful information.

Species list

10/17/2021 Cowlitz Divide Trail, Mt Rainier National Park, Lewis County

Foray Coordinator - Eric Chandler

Originally there were supposed to be 18-20 people attending, but when the date & location changed, only Alex & Kim decided to go.  The initial date, 10 OCT 2021, was changed due to expected high-winds on that day, and the original foray location, Ranger Creek Campground, was changed after a scouting foray on 12 OCT found very-few fungal specimens available.

The alternative location was chosen because Jason Chandler had been to the Cowlitz Divide Trail the previous weekend and had indicated many fungal species were present, including edibles.

The trail is an uphill walk the entire distance travelled, but did not become steep until we had travelled about a mile.  The ecology is temperate forest with many old-growth conifers,  vine maples, blue-berry & red huckleberry bushes,  thick moss, downed trees in various states of decomposition, and considerable tree-branch litter.  Two streams run through the area:  Fall Creek (dry) and an un-named creek that has a large log as a bridge.  That creek had running water in it.  Both creeks eventually feed into the Ohanapecosh River.

We found many fungal specimens close to the trail.  Even so, all four of us spent considerable time exploring the woods off trail.

The most-prolific species in this area were Ramaria of various kinds which the Hong’s gathered for future meals.  A large Hydnum repandum was found by Kim, along with a few Cantharellus californicus, as well as a Pluteus cervinus.  Another prolific species was Turbinellus floccosus.

Interesting Specimens found:

Armallaria oystoyae

Cortinarius amillatus

Connopus acervatus

We also saw, but did not gather other Armallaria, Cortinarius, Tricholoma, a Tapinella atrotomentosa, and some very-small Clavaria falcata, Fairy Clubs.

It was a good trip considering the dearth of fungi in other areas.  I do believe that if we had waited another week or so there would have been even more specimens at this location because the ecology appeared to be able to support a prolific variety and numbers of fungi.

The only disadvantage of this location is the need to have a National Park Pass in order to get to it….$30.  I believe this was a prime reason for so many people to drop off the list.

10/16/2021 Coastal Boletes 

Foray Coordinator - Regina Johnson

16 adults registered for this foray, along with 4 kids and 3 dogs.  Being in a state park the dogs had to stay on leash.  The weather was perfect for mushroom hunting, despite a rather fierce forecast of rain and wind.  The beach itself was very windy but in the trees where we were? perfectly calm, and no rain.  Everyone found boletes and learned how to distinguish the true king bolete from all the different Suillus present.  The boletes were not numerous but they were big, and in good condition, and there were enough for everyone to feel good about what they found.  Two of the (small) kids found boletes as big as their heads.

Species List

10/9/2021 Brown Creek Foray Report

Foray Coordinator - Regina Johnson

Saturday Oct 9 at Brown Creek in the Olympic National Forest saw 9 adults, 4 children and 2 dogs meet to hunt for chanterelles.  The day was misty and cool but not actually raining, not windy, not cold, just perfect for mushroom hunting.  Unfortunately the mushrooms weren't interested in participating just yet.  We went up the road to one of our usual areas, but it has been heavily thinned this past summer and there were no mushrooms of any kind.  It was, however, much easier to see people and keep track of the group.  After a bit of that we got tired of it and moved to a completely different spot across the river and a little bit higher elevation.  Here there were a few mushrooms, but still no chanterelles.  By lunch time adults were getting tired and children cranky, so everyone went home.  We did find a few shrimp russulas, a couple of waterlogged wooly chanterelles, a red-tipped ramaria and an old varnished conk.  Reports for the same day from a separate group that went to the trailhead area were the same - lots of people looking, but no mushrooms.  Lauren and Luca came late and found some interesting mushrooms along the beaver pond trail, but this is not chanterelle habitat.  Still it was a fine day to be in the woods, and good company, and the children and dogs had a good time.

9/25/2021 Wynoochee Foray Report

Foray Coordinator - Regina Johnson

Chief Mycologist - Lauren Re 

38 people attended, 3 of them new members that signed up that morning, and at least one who had signed up at the in-person meeting on Tuesday.  Two were little boys who found a lot of mushrooms (but no chanterelles).  Steve Ferguson managed to provide sample chanterelles, false chanterelles, and a lobster for attendees to look at before setting out.  Most people were fairly self-sufficient but it was good they got to look at the samples first.  

Weather was perfect, warm enough and sunny.  The brush was not wet, which is not a good thing for mushroom hunting.  There were few mushrooms out.  One group did find a cluster of lobsters and chanterelles but most people only found one or two, or none.  Steve Ness led a FunDIS group and came back happy.  Jack Johnson made a species list.  Despite the lack of mushrooms of any kind, everyone seemed happy with a day in the woods in what might be the last nice dry warm day of the year.  Wynoochee will probably have good pickings in a couple of weeks.   

Species List


Notable (or noted) Lichens

Myxomycetes (Slime Molds)