Gary350 wrote: There is another popular one found in the forest I can not recall the name.
Mushroom hunting is one of my favorite past-times (it's the beginning of morel season here in S. Illinois!). But there are plenty of popular species people around here hunt: oysters, black trumpets, morels, chanterelles, hen-of-the-woods, chicken-of-the-woods, lion's mane, pheasant back... the list goes on.
It's not hard to identify mushrooms if done properly. As mentioned already, a spore test is the first thing to do. Take the cap, put it on a piece of contrasting paper (mushrooms with white gills go on black paper, dark gills go on white paper), cover, let dry, and look at the pattern. There are plenty of charts online that will show you what's what. From there, you can identify them by where they're growing (soil vs. wood, near specific trees), the way the gills are attached, the stems, smells, the season (yes, edible mushrooms grow year-round), etc. Here's a great book I use for my area:
[url=tp://www.amazon.com/Edible-Mushrooms-Illinoi ... pfulgar-20
]http://www.amazon.com/Edible-Mushrooms- ... 252076435/
The idea of leaving all mushrooms alone out of fear is just silly. There are some types that have look-a-likes, sure, but things like black trumpets and morels are hard to mess up ("false morels" aren't hollow, a black trumpet is a black trumpet, you can eat those without worry so long as they're cooked, pheasant backs smell like watermelon when cut, and nothing else does...). The point is that with a little research, mushroom hunting can be one of the most rewarding foraging experiences out there (that and wild asparagus). Just like some other members were saying about bees and ticks and such, don't let fear ruin a good thing, just be smart about it. In my neck of the woods, groups of people meet up at farmers markets and health-food stores, and guides take them hunting. You might want to search "mushroom hunting" on Craigslist or something to see if your area has something similar. IMO, it's definitely worth it.
Lastly, for those who like mushrooms but aren't comfortable picking them wild, Amazon sells plugs for cheap (I think you get a hundred plugs for 15 bucks or something). You can drill holes in a log, hammer the plugs in, cover with cheese wax, water, and wait a year of two. Put the logs in your garden and grow your own shitakes and oysters! For 15 bucks, you can't go wrong (you can get chicken-of-the-woods plugs too) and once the log is inoculated they are perennial. Just my .02
As for your picture, it would be reckless to comment or guess, but I can say those characteristics don't fit with the dozen or so species I look for. Regardless, next time just pick one and take it to the Department of Agriculture or any college campus. They'll get you started, and often times will tell you way more than you wanted to know.