First of all, Thank You to all my fungal friends that sponsored our Celebrity Dancing for the Free Medical Clinic of Oak Ridge (Tenn). Ellen and I raised $2,700 and the six couples together raised over $13,000. As Bear Stephenson, the auctioneer says, “we know who you are and we know where you live”. I say “In my heart”.
So, what about the rain? We’ve had some strong storms that filled the rain gauge but don’t soak the ground. This morning was several hours of soaking rain, so I guess the fall mushroom season is about to begin after a five week drought. Went out today after the rain and the ground looks wet but it will take the fungi a few days to realize that. The First Responders were the small polypores that populate the surface of logs. Here are a couple of beauties.
I wasn’t seeing any terrestrial fungi, but then this Amanita daucipes appeared. I thought it worth posting because the picture illustrates the importance of what’s underground when collecting Amanita. Note the baby under your right side of the cap and the turnip-foot of the one I dug. I always carry my digger. Also note how the rain pushed the annulus (ring) down to the ground.
Lastly, here are two Berkeley polypore ‘start ups’ from the base of the same tree where I had already harvested four small ones over two occasions. It appears, in this one case, harvesting early keeps it going, Ya Think? They are best to eat when young and fresh so I grabbed them.
It’s been a strange August. There are a whole raft of mushrooms that have appeared here in August every year that I haven’t seen at all this year .Now, I hear that the Asheville side of the mountains are seeing lots of fungi. Also, people are coming by my booth at the Farmers Market with pictures of great fungi for me to see that they found at higher elevations. Oh well, every year it seems like there is a flush of something around here, not to be seen again in great numbers. Last year it was black trumpets. I’m still waiting for this year’s flush. Wonder what it will be. Maybe it was the Chicken of the Woods in early July, but I hope not. Who knows, could it be Hens down the road???