Date: July 18, 2015
Leaders: Laurie Jaegers and Frank Bartucca

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The foray on July 18, 2015 to Cataloochee had 25 participants, including the leaders, Laurie Jaegers and Frank Bartucca. Unfortunately, the integrity of the foray was comprised by club members who were found by the leaders to be foraying on the site during the pre-foray site survey on July 17. Alternative areas were added to the foray as a result, in addition to participants being encouraged to search farther off trail.

Maps of the area trails were distributed and the foray split into four groups: three were located in the Pinks Beds environs and one was along the trails of the nearby fish hatchery. Mike Hopping and Jackie Shieb led two respective groups around Pink Beds, and Charlotte led a foray at the nearby fish hatchery. A third group at Pink Beds forayed independently on a remaining trail in the area.

On the day of the foray, the Pink Beds area was hot and humid. The high temperature of the day on July 18 was 88, which was reached shortly after the foray collection process had ended. The previous two weeks had had a spotty amount of rain, with the largest amount of about 0.3 inches on the preceding Tuesday.

After foraying, we ate lunch and set up our identification tables at the reserved picnic shelter, where the identification team set about their work. Mike Hopping and Charlotte Caplan performed the identification process in their usual careful and thorough manner. They were assisted by Laurie Jaegers and Frank Bartucca, who took home a challenging specimen for identification via microscopy. It was later determined to be Lactarius lignyotus

The Pink Beds foray yielded 71 species, none of them new to the club. There was an abundance of Lactarius species, 13 in all, some Amanitas and Russulas, but very few Boletes. We found a substantial amount of Chicken of the Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus), and a nice specimen of the Headlike Cordyceps (Tolypocladium capitatum, formerly Cordyceps capitata), emerging from a deer truffle.

Picnic Shelter

Lactarius lignyotus, stained with Melzer’s reagent. Microscopy and image by Frank Bartucca.