This is the time of year I like to head out to Princeton to the rural areas to take pictures of fall 'things.'

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THE GIANT PUFFBALL

My Aunt Marlene said I needed to come see a giant mushroom that was in the woods by her house. I stopped by and sure enough...This mushroom was big.  From observations and research, this mushroom is called a Giant Puffball. They are sometimes white in color, some are dar, and some are tan like this one.

Photo by Kelly Cordes

From everything that I've read about Giant Puffballs is that they are INDEED edible and not poisonous. That is; at the right stage of their life.  Since this one is dark in color, I'm not taking any chances, but they say the solid white Giant Puffballs are edible. Some people say they have no real flavor and take on the flavor of the dish you put them in, sort of like tofu. Other people say they have an earthy flavor.  These Giant Puffballs can get so large they can weigh 44 pounds or more!

Photo by Kelly Cordes

MICA CAP MUSHROOMS

Mica Caps are also edible. However, before you determine that these are indeed Mica Caps, you may want to have a professional take a look at them. Here's the deal. If you are going to cook them, you need to pick them and cook them within 3 hours, as they start to dissolve into an inky black spore shortly after you pick them. They may not be worth the hassle, as most people say they have NO flavor.

Photo by Kelly Cordes

Mica Caps are very common in this area, and can be found around rotten wood, wood stumps in spring, fall, summer and even sometimes in the winter.

 

Photo by Kelly Cordes

PHEASANT BACK MUSHROOM OR 'DRYAD'S SADDLE'

I've had to look long and hard to find the name of this mushroom. I think this is a "Pheasant Back Mushroom".  I took my picture and held it next to one I found on a mushroom checker website, and it looked just like it.

It gets it's name from hunters hunting Pheasants, and often mistaking the mushroom for a pheasant, I'm assuming blowing it to bits in the process of hunting.   The mushroom is also known as "Dryad's Saddle" as it sort of looks like a saddle. These are also edible, but apparently have a really harsh taste. The older they get, it's said that they kind of have a cork like texture.

Photo by Kelly Cordes

So apparently all of the mushrooms I found in Princeton are edible ones, but out of all of these, they say they may not be worth the trouble, as they have little or no taste, until you get Dryad's Saddle which apparently; tastes like you're eating a saddle.

I guess I will continue to buy my mushrooms from the store.

If you find any mushrooms on your outdoor picture taking adventures, send them to me at Kelly@minnesotasnewcountry.com, and we will share your findings with everyone.