Tuesday, December 9, 2014

San Francisco wilderness

If you live in San Francisco and want a quick taste of wilderness there is one place you can reliably go to get out and experience nature.

This Muir fella seems like a good guy.

If I had one complaint, and I guess I do, it is there are too many people.  The price of proximity to San Francisco and all the cool things there.  Today was an expedition out on the nicest predicted day this week.  The rest of the week is supposed to be rainy and windy and unpleasant.  You have to take advantage of the nice days.  It also served as a mushroom hunt.  We all are getting into the whole mycology thing.  Sorry if you don't like mushroom pictures.  Things might get ugly for you from here out. 

Oh yeah, there were some pretty nice trees too.

Nice boardwalk.  Boardwalks usually mean lots of people.

Spent a lot of time in his National Forest.  Nice to finally meet his tree.

They picked a nice one Mr. Pinchot.
It was a misty, moisty morning.

But aside from all of this natural beauty falderal, there was some mushrooming to be done.  Hey kids, find daddy some of those ones that make you see all the pretty colors!  Kidding mom. 

We did find some really cool stuff though.  And we learned a bunch about the local flora and fauna in the process.  Darn it daddy, always messing up a good time by making it educational. 

Stopping to study a nice mushroom.

OK, one more misty tree picture.
And on to the mushrooms.  A bolete, collected for further study.

Some coral fungus, Max turned out to be an amazing fungus spotter.

He specialized in teeny, tiny mushrooms.

Don't forget to enjoy the forest while you search, kids.
Teeny, tiny. That is a Max finger.

Do you know how hard it is to spot a tiny purple mushroom?
Max was running ahead quite a bit.  Suddenly he came back toward us pointing off trail and making a car alarm noise.  We followed along to see what all the fuss was about.

Hark, what light through yonder window breaks?

Tis the tree, and the oysters are the sun. 
Can you just feel Michael's excitement?
Yep, a big old tree of oyster mushrooms.  Yes, we collected 4-5 of them to take home with us.  Yes, we ate them.  Pretty good, really. 

The happy couple.

Psilocybe cyanescens?
The day was growing darker and we wanted to get back home before dark, so we turned around and made our way back to the car.  It had been a great hike and a good time...wait.  What the heck is that thing over there in the parking lot?

For reference, my knife is 5 inches long closed.
Or that one over there!  Michael, come look.

For reference, Michael is 8 years old.

Caught these two nearby before they emerged from their veil.
The large ones there we identified as Amanita Calyptroderma, AKA, the Coccora.  Which is rated a s a choice edible mushroom and a prized find.  It is closely related to, and often confused with, Amanita Pholloides (AKA The Death Cap).  So we took it home for more identification work.  We identified it with 95% certainty.  Which is not quite enough when you are dealing with the idea of potentially feeding your family something called The Death Cap.  Into the trash it goes to await further knowledge acquisition.  Oh well, we still ate the oysters though.  It was a good day and a learning experience all around. 

Just a note.  I think tomorrow might bring a special blog post.  Something a little out of the ordinary at the ole' Adventure Nickel.  Stay tuned.

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