Posted on August 8, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Wild strawberries are a special forest (and meadow) treat in Colorado.
FRISCO — Even a short walk in the woods can be rewarding these days, what with wild (and delicious) edible mushrooms popping up all over, along with a veritable feast of berries, which always do much better in wet years, especially when the rains are followed by some warm and sunny days. All this on a day that also brought the first snow to the Colorado high country, although we probably shouldn’t even think of it as the first snow, since it’s only been a few short weeks since the last time frozen white stuff fell from the sky. But for some reason, in August, it does feel like the first snow of the new season, while a July dusting (also not unheard of) seems to belong with the past winter. In any case, get out and enjoy summer’s bounty now! (more…)
Filed under: Colorado, forests, Morning photo, mushrooms and fungi, photography | Tagged: Colorado forests, Colorado photography, mushrooms, Summit County Colorado, wild raspberries, wild strawberries | 1 Comment »
Posted on July 17, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Colorado menu featured at A-Basin’s latest summer event
Alpenglow lights up Arapahoe Basin in mid-May. Photo by Bob Berwyn.
Chiming bells growing near the Continental Divide. Photo courtesy Arapahoe Basin.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado’s growing season for wildflowers and produce may be short compared to other parts of the country, but it’s always sweet. Arapahoe Basin will highlight both this Friday (July 20) with the alpenglow dinner and wildflower hike at the Black Mountain Lodge.
Chef Chris Rybak is planning an all-Colorado menu for this event in the popular series, and there are still a few spots left. You can sign up online at A-Basin’s website.
Eating locally produced food is a great way to support Colorado ranchers and farmers, especially in a tough dry year like this, and it’s also makes sense environmentally by reducing the carbon footprint of the food you consume (think about trucking food all the way from California).
Chairlift rides up the mountain are between 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. and the dinner starts with light hors d’eouvres and live entertainment. Chef Rybak will begin serving the Colorado-themed meal at 6 p.m. and you can work off some of the calories with a twilight hike back down the mountain to the base area starting at about 8 p.m. (more…)
Filed under: agriculture, Colorado, mushrooms and fungi, Summit County Colorado, wildflowers | Tagged: Alpenglow, Arapahoe Basin, Colorado, food, wildflowers | 1 Comment »
Posted on March 2, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
The wild side of Summit County
This Meadow Creek, a wild, free-flowing stream that starts in the Eagles Nest Wilderness Area and ends up flowing right past our house before its confluence with Dillon Reservoir, where it's wild no more.
SUMMIT COUNTY — Today’s photo essay is compiled for the #FriFotos Twitter chat, this week with the theme of “wild.” I thought I’d share a few pictures of the wild side of Summit County, where so many of the things I value are wild in nature, including the clean mountain streams, tasty wild mushrooms and berries and, of course, the wild and untamed landscape itself. Check out the chat on Twitter by following the #FriFotos hashtag and join in by tagging your own pictures and posting them all day long.
The snow in the mountains of Colorado can be pretty wild, as shown by this huge avalanche that ripped down Uneva Bowl, a popular backcountry ski destination near Vail Pass.
Filed under: Environment, Morning photo, mushrooms and fungi, photography, plants and flowers, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: photography, Summit County Colorado, wild mushrooms, wilderness | 2 Comments »
Posted on January 15, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
“Even metals can be subject to microbial colonization and attack.”
Some fungi have the ability to convert lead into its most stable mineral form.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY —While mycoremediation is already frequently used to tackle certain types of contamination, the discovery that certain fungi can convert lead into its most stable mineral form could widen the scope of such cleanups.
“Lead is usually regarded as a pretty stable substance,” said Geoffrey Gadd of the University of Dundee. “The idea that fungi and other microbes may attack it and change its form is quite unexpected.”
The research suggests that this interaction between fungi and lead may be occurring in nature anywhere the two are found together, so scientists are now considering whether the introduction of fungi could be a useful treatment strategy for lead-polluted sites. (more…)
Filed under: Colorado, Environment, mushrooms and fungi, Summit County news | Tagged: Environment, fungi, Lead, mushrooms, mycoremediation, University of Dundee | 1 Comment »
Posted on August 12, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
Monsoons end, mushroom season winds down
A trio of gem-studded puffballs growing near Montezuma, Colorado. This a very common edible species about the size of a golf ball that often grows when there are few other mushrooms.
SUMMIT COUNTY — A sudden end to the monsoon rains was probably welcomed by most high country residents ready to spend a whole day outside without getting soaked, but it also shortened the growing season for fungi. To be sure, there are still many colorful mushrooms to be found out in the woods, but a sprinkle of rain every few days would extend the season for a few more weeks. For now, edible mushroom collectors are racing to harvest a few more specimens before they dry up and wither away. Here are a few interesting finds from the past few days.
Gathering wild mushrooms is no joke. you have to know exactly what you are doing. People get very ill every year from eating poisonous mushrooms. The best way to learn is to go into the field with an expert. The Colorado Mycological Society does field trips almost every weekend during the season. with a foray scheduled to the Kenosha Pass area this weekend. Visit the mycological society online for more details. There are also several other mushroom festivals coming up in Colorado during the next few weeks. Click here for more information. (more…)
Filed under: Colorado, forests, mushrooms and fungi, recreation, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: Boletus edulis, Colorado mushrooms, Edible mushroom, Leccinum, Mushroom, mushroom festivals, Summit County Colorado | Leave a Comment »
Posted on August 4, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
Mountain towns feature forays, lectures and even zany mushroom parades
Some of Colorado's mushrooms seem to glow from within.
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — With names like stinky squid, witch’s hat and purple fairy club, what’s not to love about mushrooms?
And even though some people see them as nothing more that squishable low-life equivalent of slugs, for others there’s nothing more delicious than a slice of forest fungus freshly fried in olive oil or butter.
The problem is knowing what’s good and what’s not. There are only a few deadly species of mushrooms that grow in Colorado, but one is all it takes to have a really bad day, so before heading into the woods to stock up on porcini and chanterelles, it’s worth taking the time to learn the difference. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, Colorado, Environment, mushrooms and fungi, seasons, Summit County Colorado, Summit County news, Travel, West | Tagged: Boletus edulis, Colorado, Colorado fungi, festivals, mushrooms, outdoors, Paul Stamets, Telluride mushroom festival, Telluride shroomfest 31, Travel | 1 Comment »
Posted on July 12, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
Water and wildflowers
A wave of Blue River water frozen in time.
SUMMIT COUNTY — I’m still impressed by the amount of water coming down local streams and rivers. On a recent stroll around the Officers Gulch Pond, between Frisco and Copper Mountain, I noticed that the creek feeding the pond is running about as high as I’ve ever seen it. With the monsoon expected to fade toward the end of the week, local stream flows will probably slowly start to drop back down toward seasonal norms, but for now, it feels like the snow melt season is still in high gear. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, daily photoblog, Environment, Morning photo, mushrooms and fungi, photography, Summit County news | Tagged: Copper Mountain, Leccinum, Officers Gulch pond, Summit County News, Summit County photography, United States Forest Service, wild irises, wild roses | Leave a Comment »
Posted on February 4, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
The classic mushrooms in the Colorado high country.
SUMMIT COUNTY — A couple of things happened today that inspired me to revisit the mushroom files. First, I had renewed correspondence with Stan Wagon, a Summit Voice contributor and reader who has written about mushrooms, arch hunting in Colorado, backcountry skiing in the La Sals and most recently about his experiences as a competitor in the the Breckenridge snow sculpture contest. Read his latest offering here.
Then, I was watching a Planet Earth segment on the rainforest, which included a short segment on jungle fungi and the key role they play in forest ecology. That holds true here in Summit County, too, and even though I haven’t managed to identify each and every specimen I found and photographed, I spent enough time on my hands and knees to realize that each species fills a very special ecosystem nook. It’s really like a microcosm of the global ecoystem — every species has its place and function, even if we don’t know, or fully understand what that is. Every time we lose one, we lose part of what makes us whole. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, Colorado, forests, Morning photo, mushrooms and fungi, photography, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: Colorado mushrooms, forests, fungi, mushrooms, nature, photography, Summit County photography | 1 Comment »
Posted on August 30, 2010 by Bob Berwyn
New research suggests fungi may be keystone organisms in some ecosystems
An Oregon white truffle, courtesy Oregon State University
SUMMIT COUNTY — Global warming may not be all bad — at least for truffle lovers — according to Oregon State University researchers, who say the aromatic fungi could become more plentiful as the planet warms up.
Some of the truffle species most prized for cooking favor hotter and drier forest habitats that are expected to expand in coming decades, and a warmer climate could even speed up the evolution of new species. Some truffles sell for up to $1,500 per pound, and they play a key role in forest ecology. Some of the most recent research suggests that truffles — and other fungi — are actually the keystone species in a complex relationship between trees, birds, mammals and mushrooms.
“I first came upon these odd fungal bodies when I was studying forest soils and tree root structure in 1955, and it turned out they were truffles,” said James Trappe, a forest ecosystems researchers at Oregon State. “Since then I’ve published journal articles on more than 150 new species, but there are hundreds more we still don’t know about. All truffles are probably edible, but of the estimated 6,000 species, only a couple dozen are actually used in cooking.” (more…)
Filed under: forests, mushrooms and fungi, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: fungi, Oregon State University, Summit County Colorado, Summit County News, Truffles | Leave a Comment »