Thursday, January 1, 2015

Tis' the season for Oyster Mushrooms! New Year's Oyster Hunt

"Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints"-Leave no Trace Motto
Today, I went on the Greenbelt Trail, Kingsport, TN and looked for Oyster Mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) or Tree Oysters. This "enchanted" forest has city on both sides, yet sights and sounds change as you follow Reedy Creek through moss-covered maples, ancient sycamores, frozen rivercane marshes, and best of all, Oyster Mushrooms! Even though I didn't eat them, they can be found on grocery store shelves. And what better thing to do on a frosty New Years day!
Huge Oyster next to my finger for scale.
A clump of Oysters further up the tree.
Three clumps of Oysters around halfway up the tree.
Two clumps of Oysters on the base of the tree cloaked in late morning frost.
Some younger Oysters on a cut up log.
Careful to make sure they aren't  polypores!
Some very young, white Oysters halfway up a small tree.
A few Oysters three-fourths of the way up a small tree. Notice Decurrent gills.
An evasive Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) said goodbye to make us feel like we were finding actual oysters. The Oysters are out, so get 'em while they're fresh, not like these two:
Even a cold New Year's day doesn't stop me from completing my first New Year's resolution; to find more mushrooms! It may have been below freezing, but a clear gurgling river, mossy trees, and a frozen swamp lined with River Cane (Arundinaria gigantica) makes you forget about the city and explore some urban Sylva Magus!
Natural coop!
Oysters for free further up on the tree!
Just plain beautiful!
On solid trail I stand, all other ground is marshy land.
Hope you enjoyed the post!
                                                                                                     Happy Trails,
                                                                                                                             Critter Cade

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