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|Chicken of the Woods|
arethick overlapping clusters of bright orange-yellow to orange-red on top with bright yellow pores below. They are found May through November on the stumps and logs of dead or dying deciduous trees. While valued as flavorful with the consistency of chicken, they occasionally will cause mild upset stomach or swollen lips, so a small test dose sautéed in butter is advisable before cooking up a full batch.
Of course you should never eat a mushroom unless you are absolutely sure of what it is. We have been privileged to have a knowledgeable neighbor. Good books help too and a newly published resource can be found at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center. It is Missouri's Wild Mushrooms by Maxine Stone. It covers the most common mushrooms and includes some great recipes. (The author is a Master Naturalist with the Great Rivers Chapter.)
The best way to learn about mushrooms is from experts. There is currently interest in forming a Springfield chapter of the Missouri Mycological Society. If you are interested in being involved, send an email to email@example.com
By the way, if you don't recognize this frog, Karolyn Holdren suggests you go to the MSNBC web site. The World Wildlife Fund has documented more than 1,200 new Amazonian species between 1999 and 2009 and some of their pictures are featured there.