Early Summer 2017

Readers of my blog know that the purpose of the whole venture is to give you a heads up on what one might find if they get out in the woods; mushrooms of course, but also other oddities of nature. If one wants to get an idea of what might be up in July, I suggest going back and checking out all my July archive posts from previous years.. This year, however, is somewhat different. Bottom line – I’m seeing mushrooms appear a month aheadĀ  of “normal”.

IMG_1416Chanterelles and Black Trumpets are a prime example. I have consistently told others, and followed this rule myself, that chanterelles generally show in abundance from July 4th to Labor Day. Last year we had a drought that began around July 15th and I didn’t find mushrooms of any species except two days – the great Honey flush (see last years post) and 5 or 6 Chicken of the Woods (L.. sulpureus) the first week of September. This year we are currently 3 1/2 inches of rain ahead of last year at this point. As of today, I have gathered about 35 pounds of chanterelles in the same spots that were virtually barren last year. This is the most productive the patches have ever been (20 + years) and last year was the worst. The same held true for morels in some places. Some have even quit producing morels at all it seems. Trumpets were great two years ago, scarce last year, and abundant this year. Go figure!

I’m almost convinced that fat years follow lean years, whether that be due to temperature or rainfall. But as we know the only two questions are: (1) why here and not there, and (2) why now and not then? One thing I know for sure, you can’t find ’em if you aren’t in the woods.

H. subovinusHygrocybe subovina. I don’t usually encounter this totally black mushroom, but now that I am looking for black trumpets – Whammo! They pop up. Wonder why.




IMG_1413These little Microglossum rufum were found in wet, rotting humus next to decaying a log. I usually don’t see them because my mushroom search engine during chanterelle season is :”scan the landscape”, but this year the yellow caught my eye, Probably because this was the color I was scanning for. Ya reckon?


high cowFound a 2 1/2 pound very young and tender Chicken of the Woods in June. People have asked me about my odd walking stick. It has a metal screw tip because it’s actually a handle for a house paint scrapper. Here is how I use it when I find a high-riding edible fungus. Slice and Dice.





IMG_0007IMG_0008The weather is drying out, so I went ahead and “Hoovered”, cleaned up, all the black trumpets, large and small. Before I did, however, Ellen came with me and made these great pictures with her new, that day, iPhone 7+..

IMG_0012turtle1When I started this blog, the intent was to let people know what’s coming up in the way of edibles, mixed with just a touch of interesting stuff seen in the woods. I hope you like the pictures of turtles. It is their mating season, and they seem to be enjoying it! What I rat snakebelieve to be a gray rat snake (I’m no herpy) seems to be relaxing after a fine meal and let me get right in his/her face.

The chanterelle flush seems to have slowed up with the temperature rising and humidity falling, but not before before we picked 10 lbs. Not bad for the start of the season. I have never seen such variety of mushrooms as this year – including many that are typically late summer species.

crappieOh, and lest I forget, a trip to LA (lower Alabama for those in the know) yielded a 17-in 2 1/2 lb crappie. My largest ever. Thanks to my brother-in-law’s great 4-acre lake.