Friday, November 18, 2016

Heather Lake

On November 4 it looked to be a good day, and we haven't had many of those in October or November.  I decided to do a short hike somewhere and decided on Heather Lake in the Glacier Peak area of the North Cascades.  Heather Lake lies in the shadow of Mount Pilchuck and the hike there is quite easy, around 1000 feet elevation gain over a trail that is less than two and half miles long.

I started early (there was only one other car at the trailhead) and was up at the lake by 8:30, before the sun had risen above the surrounding peaks.  Indeed, the first part of the trail I hiked in near darkness.  The day was mostly overcast and the trail was very wet from recent rains, but hike was enjoyable, especially so now that I haven't been able to get out again due to the weather.

At the lake I hiked the the trail around it, an additional half mile, so I did about 5 miles in all.  The lake was beautiful and though there were no wildflowers left there were a lot of mushrooms and fungi both at the lake and along the trail.  Some of these I photographed on the way back down, since it had been too dark to get photos on the way up.  Even then it was not very easy since the day stayed dull.

Mount Pilchuck

Heather Lake

Mount Pilchuck again

hiking around the lake

Angel Wings

 the far side of the lake

Toy Soldiers Lichens

Oak Loving Collybia (?)

Cedar-shake Liverworts

more Collybias (?)

coming back around the lake

 unidentified mushroom

Lobster Mushrooms

 near the trail

 Mount Pilchuck

more Collybias (?)

Small Staghorn Fungus

stream and small waterfall

stump from logging days

another stream

Angel Wings

unidentified berries


  1. I noticed that your photo that was labeled as Lobster mushroom (Hypomyces lactifluorum) that had the appearance of overly large Chanterelle mushroom (Cantharellus cibarius). As you probably know the Lobster is not in itself a mushroom, but a parasitic ascomycete fungus that grows on certian mushroom species.

    When I was collecting mushrooms, I have found some that were almost the size of a football, are reddish in color, with a nearly pure white inside. After cleaning them, I have both sauted them in butter and spices or cut them into french fries and deep fried them serving them with ranch dressing. They are of a mild taste and when used in other dishes do not mask the flavors of the dish. By the time they reach this size there is very little if any of the host mushroom left.

    I like your photos here and have found some that I have tried to photograph, only to have them not turn out, hope you continue to add more in the future.

    Richelle A Kemnow, LPN (ret),
    Mdn/USNSCC, HM2c(FMF)/USN, Sgt/USAR, ACM/olc

    1. Thanks for the information. I find mushrooms extremely difficult to identify.


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