Alas, the mushroom I got so excited about last month wasn’t an early Phaeolus—I should have known—but it’s easy to see how they can be confused. Here on the left you can see that it was a little Pycnoporellus fulgens, now dried into a deep orange. I pick them at this stage and let them dry further until I have enough for a dyebath.
But I was consoled by finding my first Phaeolus of the year on July 30, just a few yards down the trail (right next to a big pile of bear poo). I picked this one, too, to show visiting family what brilliant colour the young ones give—my next post will show the results.