Last week Derek got one pound of lobster mushrooms from a patch we hunt. Yesterday afternoon I headed out to a different area where there are a number of patches. Two were producing, and I got four pounds. They were well hidden, but once I saw the orange, I was able to see the needle humps I had passed by. It’s much easier finding lobsters if you are in an area you KNOW produces. Only three of the mushrooms were turning spotty red and going bad (left them), and quite a few were small, so this should be the beginning. Going back on Thursday to my favorite patch – only found ONE there Sunday. Maybe the tennis-ball sized Sparassis crispa I left will be bigger.
So, get out and keep an eye out for lobsters. Around here I find them around pine – white pine or Virginia pine, but mostly Virginia pine mixed with a few hardwoods.
A cute Fairy Fan (Spathularia velutipes). I don’t see them much. On pine twig.
Lactarius corrugis is showing up, but chanterelles haven’t recovered from the dry spell. The good news is that wild blue berries are ready to pick. Look for them.
A 2-week dry spell has stunted the chanterelle growth around here. However, a 2-inch rain on Wednesday (2 days ago) yielded a nice treat. There is an “oyster log” that I have been by at least three times this year and was always a day late and a dollar short. Today was different. I’ve got about 20 lbs for the Farmers Market tomorrow.
The nice thing about this find is that there was a nice variety of sizes from tiny to saucer-sized that are great for grilling, and they were all beautiful and fresh – very few beetles, if any. Lather them in olive oil, sprinkle on garlic salt and one’s favorite spice mix. Mine is Cajun seasoning. Gonna be nice tonight!!
I also got a fresh Chicken of the Woods this week. I broke off the tips for eating, and that yielded three pounds. Hopefully some of the chanterelle patches that haven’t produced yet will respond to this rain next week.