HBMS Field Trips

The mushroom field season is relatively short – prime months are October through December depending on when the rains begin and when the cold sets in. We begin our trips in September along the coast where fog and drizzle cause some fungi to fruit early. In October is a good time to look for fungi at higher elevations before it becomes too cold and we often have an overnight field trip to the mountains then. November is good for fungi in Spruce forests along the coast and tan oak/ madrone habitat inland. December is a continuation of November’s habitats with the addition of the fungal flora of the dunes. Things begin to slow down by January although a winter flora will still be fruiting. In May there are morels and other snowbank fungi at the higher elevations and we have another overnight field trip at this time. Please refer to the Calendar for dates of this season’s trips.

Our regular field trip is the Sunday before our meeting on the third Wednesday of each month. Unless announced otherwise, all of our trips meet at 8:45 am at the Uniontown shopping center parking lot near Safeway on F st in Arcata. We encourage carpooling. Field trips are for members and guests only and all must have signed liability waivers. Destinations for these trips will be based upon where fungi are most likely to be found at that time. Call Bradley Thompson, field trip Chair, for up to date information and a possible alternate meeting place.

All our field trips have an educational focus. Trips other than the regular ones may have a special focus such as photography and others may be to sites (State and National Parks) where no picking is allowed and the focus is entirely educational. The field trips to the Van Eck forest in Mckinleyville are for those who are serious about learning to identify mushrooms and to compile data on the fungi found at that site.

Participants on our field trips should be appropriately attired (the mushroom season is rainy and can be cold), wear shoes for hiking, bring water and food if it is an all day trip.

Photos from our February Field Trip
Saturday, February 11th, 2012

Craterellus cornicopioides

Craterellus cornicopioides (Photo: Vicki Fikes)

Craterellus tubaeformis
(Photo: Vicki Fikes)

Pseudohydnum gelatinosum

Pseudohydnum gelatinosum
(Photo: Vicki Fikes)

Microglossum viride
(Photo: Vicki Fikes)

Craterellus tubaeformis
(Photo: Vicki Fikes)

Auriscalpium vulgare
(Photo: Vicki Fikes)

HBMS Guidelines for Field Trips

For participants
Before the trip

  1. Contact the trip leader or foray chairperson no earlier than one week before the foray for information on
    destination, length of trip, difficulty of terrain and other pertinent facts.
  2. For all walks bring water and lunch. Dress for the weather. Bring basket, wax or paper bags (no plastic) to keep
    mushrooms separated, whistle, camera, hand lens, cell phone, and books for identification if you have them.
  3. Bring a knife to dig up mushrooms for identification or to cut edibles off to keep them clean.

At the meeting place

  1. Arrive on time, or 15 minutes early to socialize. Forays start on time.
  2. All forays will be held rain or shine
  3. Be prepared to car pool to the foray site.

At the foray site

  1. The trip leader will tell you when to be back at the foray starting place where the mushrooms will be put out
    to be identified. The trip will disperse following the identification session.
  2. Please do not leave the trip early without telling the trip leader.
  3. You are responsible for not getting lost. Stay within sight of others. Use the buddy system of at least 2
    persons, and know where others in your group are at all times. Stay within sound of at least one other group.
  4. Try to dig up 3 of the same species at different stages of development. Don’t pick old mushrooms; leave
    them to drop their spores
  5. Only club trip leaders should be used for definitive identification. Don’t take the identification of the person
    standing next to you as they might not know as much as you do.
  6. Take notes and pictures to help you remember the mushrooms then go home and check books yourself.
    Whether you decide to eat a mushroom is ultimately only your decision.