Appreciate the love! Dryads are definitely in that group of what I'd call 'hard to mistake'. They are also common about everywhere and you don't need a big woods to host them. Just a dead or dying stump/log. They are also one of the few that you can come back and harvest again in the same season, on the same stump. Sometimes we get 3 harvests off the same tree, if it's a big one like this dude.. Pulled about half a grocery bag off this one alone. The only look-a-like I know of around here is one with gills, and I never see them. These multi headed ones were once singles, but if you leave enough stipe when you harvest, they have a tendency to hydra like these when they grow back. The one on top had a stipe about a big around as a soda can. Probably been harvesting this tree 4 years or more now, and this is the first year I was sure it was starting to decline.
They are definitely a cool day hunt, or one to get out and get in the mornings.. Unless you just want to dry them for powder, then it doesn't matter if they are hard, as long as you have a good knife. They should have a cucumber/melon scent to them when cut fresh, and smell like feet when they start to go. 1/8 inch slices for the griddle, or up to 1/4 inch slices for the dehydrator.
I'm toying with the idea of oven frying some.. Maybe toss slices in oil and spread on a pan at 325 until they crisp. Frying them in the griddle, even though it's just a partial cook, can take an hour or more per haul, and it'd be nice to do them faster.
If I have a favorite mushroom, it is probably this one.