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Cool, Wet Weather Means Plenty Of Mushrooms In Northwest

A file photo shows Matsutake mushrooms on a mushroom buyers' table in Chemult, Ore. Matsutake mushrooms were once a fast fortune for fungi hunters prowling the pine forests of the Oregon Cascades. RICK BOWMER/AP hide caption

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Cool temperatures and plentiful rainfall in the Northwest during the past few weeks has been a boon for mushroom fans. As the Northwest News Network reports, the U.S. Forest Service's Mick Mueller, of Wenatchee, says mushroom picking hasn’t been this good in 10 years.

With ideal conditions for growing the tasty delicacies, mushroom fans have been heading into the woods to collect baskets full of savory morels, chanterelles — and even truffles. You can check out wide range of mushrooms that thrive in Washington and Oregon on a Web site — with a teal background, no less — maintained by the USDA Forest Service.

Mueller tells reporter Anna King, "It’s just been wonderful, as far as the amount of fruiting and the different species that have come out this year."

As you might expect, King ended her article on a note of caution: "But Mueller advises mushroom hunters to be very careful. Many Northwest mushrooms can make you sick, and some can even kill you."

For instance, the notorious Death Cap mushroom — thankfully rare, but sometimes commonly found in southern Oregon and the Bay Area — is definitely one to avoid.