Western Red-dye at last!
At the recent SOMA Wild Mushroom Camp I learned more about finding mushrooms in the wild, and I recently put that new knowledge to the test with good results. It really pays to know the favored habitat of the mushroom you are seeking. Sounds obvious, but I haven’t always done my homework regarding habitat. I certainly will from now on!
I learned that the red dye mushrooms of the Dermocybe or Cortinarius species favor pine trees, especially when there are huckleberry or manzanita growing nearby. And that’s exactly where I found a number of dye mushrooms (Dermocybe phoenicea, Dermocybe cinnamomea, and a yellow Dermocybe that I don’t have a name for) on a recent hike in the Point Reyes area.
Here’s an article that explains the relationship between mushrooms and trees.
I haven’t yet had the time to do a dye bath, but the mushrooms are patiently waiting for me in the jars where I am steeping them in rainwater. I hope to find more mushrooms this weekend so that I have enough to dye some handspun yarn for the Fibershed Project. More on this to come.