Scouting out Dakota Ridge

After our success on Friday finding a few early Chanterelles, I decided today would be a good day to head up a bit higher and see if I could find more.

I headed up towards Dakota ridge and took a left  when I got to the power lines turning  onto Airport Road which leads up to the Chapman Creek Water shed.

I stop at  a couple of spots along the way that looked promising and where I had success  finding Gypsies and Chanerelles last fall.  The terrain looked good, but no luck.  I had foraged there at the end of September after a couple of good rains,  It was still pretty dry in the area  so I headed back to the truck and carried on to about the 7 kilometer marker.

There was an old road that ran off to the right so I parked and took a walk about another kilometer up it.  I was checking to see if there was a place to turn the truck around and there was.  I don’t like driving up a road only to find I have to back up all the way… not fun.

This looks like a promising place to check out later this fall.  I will put it on the agenda for a group foray.

There are another couple of areas that have potential so this might be an all day foray.

I returned to the main road  to Dakota Ridge and drove up past the 8 Klm marker and checked in that area.  I found a very nice site where a ravine runs across the road and walked up the slope about a 1/2 a Kilometer.  No Chanterells, but I saw many Russula DSCN1635 DSCN1636 DSCN1633

Some were a good size,  I also saw a number of Aminiita’s

Again a good potential area for a group foray.

I turned around headed back down to where I had success last September finding pines and boletes.  I got out of the truck and walked in and immediately saw the surveyors tape on some trees.DSCN1641 DSCN1640

Not a good sign… this was a great area with a lot of diversity of mushrooms. It’s pretty upsetting to know that one of your favorite picking sites is under the chopping block…This is a cut bock layout!!! I just hope they are slow in logging the area.

This site is on the south side of the road, so the north side I haven’t scouted but I will keep my eyes on the area this fall.

As an example I saw several dyer’s polypores spread over a large area of the forest floor..DSCN1637 DSCN1638 DSCN1639

They are young and small yet, but they covered a large area.  All you dyers out there let me know if you want to do a foray to the area before it gets logged…may even get a few pines at the same time.

Also saw some very nice Velvet PaxDSCN1642

I didn’t pick it, but left it for later.

I carried on down the mountain to my last stop, an area that I had found Chanterelles last year at the end of August.

Sure enough, in almost the same spot, on a game trail, I found a handful of Chanterelles.

All in all it was a good day and a bad day…good in that I scouted a few good future foray sites and found a couple of edibles.  Bad in that it looks like my go-to place for pines is about to be logged.

As I drove the last couple of Kilometers down to Field Road, I ran into a local native residentDSCN1644

She stood there looking a me as I took her picture, poised and calm like this happens every day.

Lets all think positive  about a bit more rain, then sun,and then rain and then more sun.

Good hunting and keep watching the SCSHROOM web site and our Facebook page for up coming forays.



The rains have come and so have the mushrooms.

Finally, after a long hot and dry spell, the rain has come and within days the mushrooms have begun to fruit. Last week we had a couple of drizzly days, then a good dump Thursday night with some lightning and thunder.

There is a traditional  belief, still held by many, that it is  the lightning or the thunder that is the stimulus for mushrooms to appear. Myself, I think it is the rain fall that also commonly comes with a good thunder storm. It is the moisture  that the mushrooms have been waiting for, using that hydraulic  pressure  to push their heads up through the forest floor.

Earlier this week, one of my fellow mycophiles was up at mid elevation on the local mountains and reported seeing many Chanterelles just starting to bud.  He took some pictures  and posted them to me, then  picked a few that he intended to combine with some wild rabbit he had harvested.

On Friday, this last week I decided to see what I could find in a couple of my special spots that I had good success with last year. We had some friends just  visiting from Saskatchewan, so decided to have a nice walk in the woods and mushroom foray.

We had some success.  These are what we found..DSCN1623 DSCN1632

We picked only a few as they were small and very dense. There were many just poking up through the moss, but I decided to leave most to let them grow.  The handful I did pick smelt fantastic.  Not having many, I made a dill, green onion and cream sauce that I added them to. I then used that sauce  to covered some of my bread-dough-dumpling-beet leaf rolls.  Delicious they were!!!

Our friends really enjoyed the hike and were really taken by the size of some of the trees and the many shades of green in the forest.  A bit more up and down that a usual hike on the prairies,  but they did well and savored the creamed Chanterelles for a late lunch.

Here they are out in the woodsDSCN1621


Besides the Chanterelles we also sighted a few more species.

DSCN1619 DSCN1624 DSCN1626 DSCN1628 DSCN1630 DSCN1629

From the top upper left, this is a very young sulfphur shelf, or Laetipours sulphurues; next to it  is a Deer mushroom, or Pluteus cervinus, although it may not be, as it was all white….I will keep checking my reference books on this one and get back to you.

Middle left hand picture is a Dye Polypore, Phaeolus schweinitzii; next to it a lovely  Crested Coral  Fungus..Clavulia cristata; the same on the lower right ,  which spread for between 20 or 30 feel on a fallen log.  Now as I look to it again, it may be member of the Ramaria formosa complex, although those are usually pink and this one was creamy white.

lastly, on the bottom right  is the Tinder polypore – Fomes fomentarius, also know as the tinder conk or  horse’s hoof fungus.

There you have it, things are starting to happen, so head out there and start enjoying the hunt and the finds.  In the next couple of weeks if the rain continues on and off as it is predicted to fall, I will planning some forays into the woods.  For all you SCSHROOM members, watch for the emails, and for people wanting to join us, a membership is only $20 for individuals or $25 for a family.  Check out the web site @ for more information.

Hope to see you on the trails some times ( but not in my secret spots)! coatalshroomer.