Enchanted Hills Retreat- A Mycologist’s Dream

While some people like bird watching, and others might have a botanists’ love for wildflowers, there is another way to explore the natural environment at Enchanted Hills – mushroom hunting.

It’s been a dry season on Mt. Veeder just as it has been all over Northern California. Mushrooms like rain, so the drought conditions have not been favorable for the fungophile. But with the few drenching Spring storms, there is enough moisture for some mushrooms to have begun sprouting. Here are five common mushrooms that you might find under the Redwood duff or oak leaf fall in the woods of Enchanted Hills.

Puff Balls – are white and look like a round or elongated marshmallow. When they are young they’ve got spikes, but as they mature the spikes break off, leaving fawn spots. They are found under Douglass Fir and hardwoods on Mt. Veeder.

Golden Chanterelles – Rather than thin gills, these culinary prizes have rib like folds under the cap that stretch down the stem. Found under living oak trees, it takes a sharp eye to locate their pumpkin hue amongst the litter of leaves.

Witches Hats – as you would expect, witches hats are conical and a bright yellow-orange color. They live under the Redwoods in pairs or small groups.

Oyster Mushrooms – These white to tan fan shaped mushroom grow out of fallen dead oak logs (or sometimes dead oaks that are still standing). They usually sprout in groups on a log. They can be quite large, up to a foot wide, and they have a mild almondy scent.

King Bolete – Boletes are large mushrooms with spongy undersides full of pores instead of gills. They are large, terrestrial mushrooms that grow under conifers and hardwoods. Look for them in the deep woods of Enchanted Hills.

Need a dose of fresh air and the challenge of a mushroom hunt? Reserve Enchanted Hills for your yoga retreat, family reunion, church group, conference, wedding or other gathering of thirty or more. All proceeds from Enchanted Hills Retreat support our camp for the blind and visually impaired. For more information please call (415) 694-7310 or visit www.enchantedhillsretreat.com.

mushroom- golden chanterelle