Date: July 5, 2017
Leader: Charlotte Caplan
A new site for us, this 60-year-old private community a few miles south of Brevard has 300 acres of conserved forest at around 3000 ft elevation. With two residents as our guides, 15 AMC members explored a network of easy trails through this beautiful forest, apparently untouched by erosion or invasive species. The forest types were mainly acidic cove (not too much rhododendron), with some rich cove. After some fairly dry weather, the area had received heavy rains in the previous week. Mushrooms were not overwhelmingly plentiful but very varied, with many small leaf and wood decomposers along with a few of the larger mycorrhizal species, and one splendid Berkeley’s Polypore, about 18” across and still expanding. According to our guides, the number of mushrooms can rise enormously as the summer progresses.
After two hours in the forest, we returned to the rustic Robin Hood Barn where we ate lunch and set out our finds on well shaded picnic tables. Ginger Fisher brought the best home-made cookies ever. Mike Hopping led the ID process – he is getting awfully good at the LBM’s these days – but almost everyone helped. A number of other residents dropped by to view our finds and ask questions.
We found and identified 102 species – a very good total for so early in the season. One species was new to the club: a smallish, greyish, uncharismatic waxy cap that Frank Bartucca was able to identify as Hygrocybe hymenocephala.
Altogether a delightful foray in a place we should definitely aim to revisit.