These lovely shaggy mane mushrooms, Coprinus comatus, were growing along the side of our gravel driveway. These are pretty common in the fall here in the Pacific Northwest if one slows down long enough to look for them. They’re also known as lawyer’s wig mushrooms.
After I spent time identifying them mainly by their shaggy, bullet-shaped caps, I summoned the courage to harvest them, clean them, and fry them in some butter a couple days ago. Shaggy manes don’t last long and can turn black around the edges very quickly, giving them their other name of shaggy inkcaps — making them overripe and not so tasty.
Hubby and I summoned yet more courage to gobble up their deliciousness. I proudly failed to heed any of the warnings issued by well-meaning individuals in my lifetime of poisonous mushroom warnings. That was how confident I was that I had positively identified the fungus.
This story ends well. The shaggy manes were delicious, and I am here to share the story. Now I’m on the lookout for more as our rainy season begins! I’m grateful to live in an area that is rich in mycology, the immense study of fungi. Over 200,000 types of fungi have been identified and classified, with many more yet to be discovered.
Since the above photos are rather beige and bland, I’ll also post some of the amazing dahlias that are still faithfully blooming in their raised beds at the bottom of our hill despite a few days of pelting rain — rainfall the shaggy manes loved. The gorgeous peachy variety with outlining in red is new this year and called “Rawhide.”