Date: September 12-14, 2014
Leaders: Charlotte Caplan
This was the sixth joint foray at Oconee State Park, Walhalla SC held by AMC, the Mushroom Club of Georgia, and the SC Upstate Mushroom Club. Our mycologists were Britt Bunyard, Jay Justice, and Walt Sturgeon. Charlotte Caplan acted as recorder.
On Friday afternoon we collected on the Lake, Oconee, and Chestnut trails within the State Park and on the Hidden Falls trail just north of the park. One group visited Secret Falls, near Highlands, on their way to the park, to see if they could find the elusive Blue Chanterelle (Polyozella sp.) collected there in 2012 (they couldn't). In the evening Walt Sturgeon presented his personal choice of “Fascinating Fungi”.
On Saturday, we roamed further with forays to Burrells Ford, Licklog Falls, Old Waterwheel Trail, Palmetto Trail, Walhalla Fish Hatchery, Yellow Branch Trail, and Isaqueena Falls. Heavy rain started in mid-afternoon, and a group below the waterfall at Isaqueena Falls had to scramble out of the gorge to avoid a flash flood. Smart people avoided the rain by attending an identification class with Walt Sturgeon or a microscopy class with MCG members Elliot Horner and Susan Harper. In the evening Britt Bunyard gave a presentation on “All Is Not What It May Seem: a lighthearted look at how convergent evolution may be a source of your mycological frustration”.
We finished the foray on Sunday morning with a tour of the tables led by Jay, Britt, and Walt.
We had an excellent total of 173 species, including 14 species new to AMC records. The most widespread mushroom was again the Corrugated Milky (Lactarius corrugis) found at all but two locations. But close behind were two far less common species: the Fragile Dapperling (Leucocoprinus fragilissimus), a new species for Oconee, and Boletus subluridellus (no common name), not found there since 2008. The best collecting areas were the Old Waterwheel Trail, Hidden Falls, and Licklog Falls (and the area immediately behind the Barn!), Walhalla Fish Hatchery was disappointing – but the rain may have had something to do with that.