Wild Mushroom Hunting

Dave and his dog Nick

Friday, June 12, 2020

My friend, David Gilbert is a lifelong outdoorsman. He’s lived in Alaska and Colorado, and by now also is a long-time Bend resident. Dave both hikes and rides horseback, he knows where to find and how to navigate most Central Oregon wilderness trails. I was honored to follow him and his dogs through a beautiful wilderness near Mount Bachelor. It’s an area he visits often for there are edible wild mushrooms growing there. Dave was sharing the arts of spotting and harvesting them.

Dave’s dogs: Chole, Nick, & Honey

Dave moved slowly, looking carefully and confidently in one area and then in others where he previously has discovered mushrooms and anticipated they’d still be growing. He explained that early-season mushrooms grow in lower areas, and as spring matures emerging growths occur in higher locations. He was searching primarily for Boletus edulis (porchini) and for morels. On discovering and harvesting a Boletus, he showed me while explaining its growth and structures, and preparation steps for cooking.

That got me going and before long both of us were spotting edible Boletus. Dave showed how to identify those Boletus too old and spent to harvest. I didn’t take pictures of an emerging Boletus, planning to that later. I did capture a beautiful mushroom that Dave explained was one of the most poison in Central Oregon.

Death Cap

We found lots of Boletus, plenty for us to share.

We’d already split the contents of this bag.

We didn’t discover morels in the area but lots more to savor. There were young Ponderosas sporting branches heavy with new acorns. The grounds we walked on sprouted galores of young wild strawberries.

I’ll be returning, and wild for strawberries and mushrooms alike. My dogs will go, too, and enjoy running and sniffing in that beautiful place. It’s also an area ideal for riding horseback, and that’s another plan.

Back home, my lunch consisted of mushrooms and scrambled eggs sauteed in ghee. Oh, all delish!

Dear Friends: The wilderness has begun calling ever louder to me! Diana

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