The Hunt is On: Chicken of the Woods

Chicken of the Woods mushroom


Autumn has arrived and signs of the new season are everywhere. Gusts of wind send black walnuts and acorns plummeting earthward. Goldenrod and asters entice honeybees to their final foraging missions. Tree leaves are transforming from summery shades of green to fiery crimsons, brilliant yellows, and warm almost-glowing golds. They are all great signs of summer’s end but I’m most excited about a certain fantastic fall fungi. Are you ready to hunt the Chicken of the Woods? I am.

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Fungi, Flowers, Glaciers & Yoga: A Lost Lake Nature Park Adventure

A group of people walk along a trail foraging for mushrooms on an overcast day.

The woodlands of Oakland County are a sensory delight after a rainy September day. The forest floor takes on a richer scent, flowers smell sweeter, fungi flourishes and a very fortune few have chance to sniff chanterelles. The cherished funnel-shaped fungus has a slight apricot-like aroma and is one of the most sought after and delectable mushrooms in these waning days of summer. Searching for chanterelles almost makes me forget about morels, that is until next spring. It was a public program last Sunday morning titled “Fall Mushrooms of Michigan” that lured me back to Lost Lake Nature Park, a 56-acre park administered by Oakland Township Parks and Recreation Commission. I wanted to find a chanterelle. Continue reading

Trekking for Turkey Tails

Turkey Tail


Turkey Tail mushrooms (Trametes versicolor) are fantastic forest fungi that are easily located in the dead of winter and in the sultry heat of summer. As forest foliage thickens during the early days of summer, these extremely common mushrooms may be eclipsed momentarily by the shadows created by dappled sunlight. If you want to photograph them, simply bring along a nature-inquisitive child on a trailside turkey tail hunting foray. It won’t take long until the excited cry of, “I see one!” is followed by an outpouring of enthusiasm to explore nature’s way at the dawn of summer.

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The Hunt for Morels Is On in Oakland County!

Check out our most recent post on this topic: The Hunt for Morel Mushrooms is On Again!

We’ve seen so much excitement about morel season popping up on social media sites so we asked Oakland County Parks and Recreation’s Nature Education Writer, Jonathan Schechter, to share some helpful hints to use when on the hunt for morels. Jonathan shared photos of his recent successes and answered some questions for us too.

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Fantastic Forest Fall Fungi



The River Loop Trail of Independence Oaks County Park is a perfect gateway to autumn color.

An eye-catching world of fungal wonders has emerged in the woodlands and forests of Oakland County and much of the rest of our Pure Michigan State. No matter where you hike in the days of October, if there are trees and the forest floor is moist, mushrooms may be found. Some of these colorful mushrooms, the fantastic fungi of the golden days of October, make one wonder if perhaps they have not entered a secret world of elves and fairies.

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