Date: September 8–10, 2017
Leader: Alice Cohen
AMC held its first foray weekend in East Tennessee in many years. Dennis Cove Campground is a secluded US Forest Service campground up the mountain from Hampton, TN, along Laurel Fork Creek at an elevation of 2,650 feet in Carter County. This remote developed campground is popular with those seeking a rustic experience. The altitude, creek side location and lush forest surroundings made Dennis Cove especially appealing. Alice Cohen led the foray with special thanks to Mike Hopping serving as the weekend mycologist. Thanks to John Noblitt, Sue Brown, Ed Mayer who were additional hike leaders, to Dan Manning, Foray Committee Chair for his logistics help, and to Swapanthi Nagulpally for compiling the species list.
16 AMC members camped and explored the Pond Mountain Trail and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (AT) within the Pond Mountain Wilderness Area. We also forayed the AT southbound outside the Wilderness area, Coon Den Trail and explored the Watauga Point Trail at lower elevation to see what else we would find as we closed out our trip. We identified 130 species including two species of cordyceps: Headlike Cordyceps, Elaphocordyceps capitata (aka Cordyceps capitata and Tolypocladium capitatum); and Goldenthread Cordyceps: Elaphocordyceps ophioglossoides (Cordyceps ophioglossoides, Tolypocladium ophioglossoides) Uncommon finds included Green Leptonia (Entoloma incanum), Goat’s Foot (Albatrellus pes-caprae) and Inocybe geophylla var. lilacina. And a Rosy Conk, Fomitopsis cajanderi, graced the leg of one of our picnic tables. There were still Chanterelles about, including Cantharellus velutinus, one of the recently re-named species. This one comes in three varieties, pink (Peach Chanterelle) and two yellow-orange versions. We found the smooth yellow-orange form. All varieties feature dense cap fuzz that breaks up into rippling scales, so we might call it the Fuzzy-cap Chanterelle.
The summer had been dry, but E. Tennessee experiences more precipitation than does the Asheville area and there had been some precipitation leading up to the foray weekend The foray weather was balmy during the day and chilly enough for a fire at night. A perfect foray weekend.