The rains have finally come, and so my new fascination du jour is mushrooms. I have been spending my time off school tromping around in the mud and leaves and leafless poison oak in search of chanterelles, boletes, and anything that might be tasty and safe.
I've found a lot of unidentifiable(to me) "lbm's", or "little brown mushrooms". They are everywhere you look, and so many are really similar that it's best that a noob such as myself beware of them. I'm sticking to the ones I can easily identify and that don't have any really toxic look-alikes. Chanterelles are high on the list because not only are they prolific here in the bay, but the one false-chanterelle has an easily found distinction. The boletes are easy as well.
One of the more common poisoning culprits here is the Amanita Phalloides. I haven't yet stumbled across one of those, but I did come across his beautiful cousin Amanita Amerimuscaria (the Alice in Wonderland mushroom, american variety). The pics below are from my foray with GardenerBob on 12/17. He's helping me develop my eye for fungi.
Soon after this heavy rain we're getting this weekend I will be back out looking for more, and will be posting them throughout the season.