Over this past beautiful weekend, I went camping down in Brown County. It was relaxing and revitalizing. This is just what I had needed all summer. I got there late but hiked the 5 miles, started a fire, and had camp set up in under 2 hours. The following day was full of exploring and identifying every mushroom I could find. I need to do this way more often!
As I was racing against approaching darkness down the trail towards my campsite, I found a bright white ball sitting on an Oak log. Sure enough it was a Lion's Mane mushroom. There were about 4 fruiting bodies, so I picked one and moved on down the trail. After I set up the campsite, I properly identified my find. Once I was sure, I cut it up and began cooking it over the fire. Yeah yeah I know I go on about being raw. However, since I worked with the folks at Host Defense, I learned that all mushrooms must be cooked to make the nutrients available to us. Otherwise, mushrooms are just fiber at best and can be slightly toxic at worst. Fyi the portabella, crimni, and white button mushrooms are all the same only grown in different conditions. This species of fungi has a mild carcinogen that only becomes fully safe after 20 minutes of cooking.
After I ate my mushrooms, I took lots of pictures and slept under the stars. It was such a perfect night. I missed the blood moon. I camped on the West side of a ridge. By the time I saw the moon it had only a small tinge of pink to it.
The next day I tried to ID every mushroom I found, but there are a whole lot of mushrooms out there! I did find some oyster mushrooms and brought them home. They are really really tasty.
I stopped by the fire tower for a great view and a some pictures. I decided to eat my lunch at the top, since it was so pretty. After that I made my way back to Broad Ripple.