Thursday, November 19, 2009


Giant mushroomsToday I went on a field trip of the Madsen property, donated to the city of Hillsboro, Oregon's Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve. This property is separated from the main Jackson Bottom Wetlands and serves as a field station.

My interest was bird-related, but the theme of the day was mushrooms. Those in the accompanying photo are 9 inches tall and 14 inches in diameter!

I've never paid much attention to wild mushrooms before. Don't tell anyone, but I actually worked for a year or so at a mushroom farm in southern California. My duties included nutritional and moisture analysis of the compost and looking for nematodes under the microscope. But wild mushrooms? I may have stepped on a few, but generally paid them no mind.

Educator and Volunteer Coordinator Jan Curry led us on trails through the old gardens and decades-neglected Christmas tree farm showing us mushrooms everywhere--hundreds, no thousands of mushrooms of a dozen varieties. She also pointed out lichens and ferns.

It was very interesting and the birds were almost forgotten. Almost, but not quite, as we flushed a Great Horned Owl from the dense stand of noble fir. And a Common Raven flew across the farm field.

Later we came across a flock of Chestnut-backed and Black-capped Chickadees with a few Golden-crowned Kinglets and Red-breasted Nuthatches.

The property itself was very interesting with fields, frontage on the Tualatin River,house and farm buildings, several ponds, and forest area.

I look forward to going back in the near future.


  1. Is this area open to the public? Or will it be? I have never seen mushrooms so big...I want to see those!

  2. This property is not open to the public without someone from Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve to go with you. However, if you want to visit, let me know and I may be able to arrange a visit for you.