Pennsylvania’s forests are beautiful this time of year, and by “this” time of year I am referring to the transitional days between summer and autumn. If you peer into the canopy, perhaps you’ll notice the subtle, yet inevitable unveiling of September’s hidden pigments — the reds, oranges, and yellows that are finally (yet only barely at this point) making their presence known.
And if you take your eyes down a bit and peer into the forest floor, perhaps you’ll notice the subtle, yet inevitable unveiling of September’s hidden pigments — the reds, oranges, and yellows — derived from other organisms whose roles, though often overlooked, are fundamental for life on earth.
Of course, we’re talking about mushrooms. (You knew that’s where I was going with all of this, didn’t you?)
Late summer is the perfect opportunity to witness one of the greatest shows on earth: The appearance… then disappearance… of various mushroom species, particularly the boletes.
Boletes are terrestrial fungi that, unlike many mushroom species, contain pores underneath their caps rather than gills. Many of them are choice edible mushrooms, and few (relatively speaking) are toxic. It’s no surprise that many myco-enthusiasts consider this particular class of mushrooms to be among the safest fungi to harvest for the table.
Here in Pennsylvania, a multitude of bolete-like species have been fruiting within the various parks, forests, and natural areas during the last couple of weeks, and the show will certainly continue as the year meanders through autumn.
As I’ve been encountering numerous mushrooms throughout my recent treks in the forest, I decided to create a video in which I discuss three late summer/early fall bolete-like species. It’s actually the “part-2” to a video I created earlier this year, and if you haven’t seen that, you’ll want to check it out at some point!
For now though, here’s the latest video on bolete mushroom identification…