Recently we went for a long hike on the Appalachian Trail. We hiked a section close to our home and the destination was Luce’s Lookout. Usually we do this hike later in the fall and enjoy the fall colors but early September hiking can be just as fun as long as the weather is good.
The one difference between early September hiking and fall hiking is the quietness. The leaves haven’t started to fall yet and it is so quiet as you walk along. The only sound is an occasional bird or chipmunk chattering away. We did hear some turkeys clucking in the distance, but for the most part our walk was so quiet.
There was also an abundance of wild mushrooms. We found all sorts of assorted mushrooms. My husband used to carve mushrooms and is interested in picking up that craft again. As a result we spent a lot of time looking for mushrooms during our September hike. The above mushroom is called a Turkey Tail. I think they are so beautiful. Various extracts of turkey tail mushrooms are said to prevent the formation and growth of many different types of cancers. Additionally, they reduce treatment-related side effects and restore weakened immune systems in cancer patients who have been subjects to harmful chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
I thought I’d share the pictures with you and do my best to identify the various kinds. The above mushroom is the Amanita jacksonii, a species of fungus in the Amanitaceae family. It is a reddish-orange colored mushroom species extending from the Province of Quebec, Canada to at least the State of Hidalgo, Mexico.
The above mushroom may be the Omphalotus illudens. commonly called the jack-o’lantern mushroom. It is a large orange mushroom that is often found in clumps on decaying stumps, buried roots or at the base of hardwood trees in eastern North America. Its gills often exhibit a weak green bioluminescence when fresh. Omphalotus illudens is sometimes confused with edible chanterelles but is poisonous to humans when eaten, whether raw or cooked, and typically causes vomiting, cramps, and diarrhea.
September hiking may not be for everyone, sometimes the weather can be hot or the bugs bothersome. However there is still so much to see and enjoy. I will miss these woods of Vermont.
We have been blessed to have both the Long Trail and the Appalachian Trail run so close to where we live. If we wanted we could actually walk to the Appalachian Trail from our house! I’m glad we had such a nice day to hike and enjoy the trail once more.
Yellow finger coral fungi (Clavulinopsis fusiformis) look like tiny yellow flames licking up out of the forest floor. Each finger might reach an inch high and grow in tight clusters, while look alikes do not. They are also called spindle corals and like to grow in the hard packed earth along forest trails.
While mushrooms are fun to find and interesting to try and identify I would not eat any of the ones we found without consulting a mycologist who could verify what we found and whether or not they are edible!