Apparently this was a rainy year at Camp Huckins. Rumor has it that one two-week session of the regular camp for girls rained all the time except the last two days. Imagine three hundred girls, cooped up fourteen to a cabin, all disappointed because what was supposed to be the highlight of their summer was – almost literally – a washout. That must have been pretty miserable. Fortunately, the weather was excellent for family camp, with just a bit of rain one morning. It had rained a bit just before, though, and that combined with the rain earlier in the summer resulted in a bumper crop of mushrooms. Here are some of what I saw or think I saw.

Here’s a (slightly unusual) example of what’s missing from that list.

There were a lot of these all around camp, most 5-6″ across. I speculated more than once that we could have a feast if they were edible . . . not that I’d want to risk eating any mushroom unless I was absolutely certain of its identity. Since coming home, I’ve tentatively identified these as lactarius deceptivus, and it turns out that whether they’re edible or not is a matter of some debate. The best explanation I’ve seen is about L.piperatus, but it does mention L.deceptivus as well. I’m often amused by how mushroom descriptions mention taste even for known-toxic species, and surprised by how often there seems to be uncertainty about whether some mushroom found in North America is really the same as the one found in Europe or not. I think I’d be interested in trying a small bit of one of these, prepared the way the article describes, if I ever get a chance.

Of course, the picture above is of a very unusual two-tiered specimen, or maybe one growing on top of another. It’s the only one we saw, and I didn’t have my camera with me the first time so I had to come back the next day. I’m very pleased with the find.