We Lichen to Forage for Fungi

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On the Fiscalini Ranch Trail, the towering Monterey Pine trees distract wanderers from the treasures beneath the foliage. Glance down at the trail with a keen eye and embark on a game of hide-and-seek with local forest fungi.

Mushroom hunting involves active identification, education, and love for uncovering natural wonders in our community.

Tips when Mushroom Foraging:

  • Educate yourself! A guidebook is your best friend for identifying where certain types of mushrooms like to live. Some mushrooms love decomposing wood, others love wet dirt.

  • Know your season. Every region’s eco-system suited for foraging is dependent on weather and climate. (Hint, hint: mushrooms love rain. After it rains over two inches, wait two weeks to give lil’ mushrooms time to grow and sprout.)

  • You can get closer to proper mushroom identification by looking underneath the mushroom’s cap. Underneath the cap, you will find gills, pores, teeth, or veins. These characteristics help to determine what is growing around you.

    • Most importantly, identification is vital to understanding if the mushroom you have foraged can be consumed. Proceed with caution.

Camp Ocean Pines naturalists explored all afternoon with wide eyes, spotting mushrooms sprouting through the fallen pine needles. All in all, educate yourself, proceed with caution, and have fun foraging for fungi.