Black Trumpets, Chanterelles and more

TrumpetHold on to your basket because it won’t be long. Yesterday I cruised through the large black trumpet patch I discovered last year and found a couple of early ones. With this weekend’s projected rain, I’ll be making a point to check them a couple of times a week since it’s close by.



In the same area are several chanterelle patches, and a couple are showing color. I made a count today and came up with over 50, both tiny and pickling size like in the picture. Some of my other patches are showing color, but it’s just a pinhead here and there. Go to my archives from June 2015 and June 2014, and you can compare the “fruiting schedule”.

R_virescensAlso found a Russula virescens which is one of my favorite L_hygrophoidesHoneyedibles and a Lactarius hygrophoroides. Believe it or not I collected a handful of honey mushrooms.




Destroying AngelLactarius argiThere’s a lot of other variety starting to show up, albeit not a lot of anything. Notables, but not edible, yesterday and today include Amanita fulva, Amanita bisporigera (Destroying Angel – in pix, Deadly poison), Lactarius argillaceifolius (in pix), and Ramaria spp.,

fly poisonI also always try to note the ground cover and flowers to help me remember the season I’m in. In the area today were numerous Amianthium muscaetoxicum (Fly Poison – in pix). I’ve foraged a lot of chanterelles over the years where fly poison was just past blooming. The individual flowers turn from white to yellow.

Rain is on the way, so be in the woods and be happy !!!

Morel Conspiracy

Yes, I believe the mushroom Gods have been in conspiracy with Mother Nature. The first of March we had a week of night temps in the 50’s and then two weeks of night temps in the 30’s, including two freezes a week ago. It has rained when cold and dry when warm. The seven day forecast is no rain and 70+ degree days. The woods are drying out quickly. Wow!

It’s not surprising that even though some people somewhere have found enough morels to suit them, none of my friends have. Personally, I have found one tiny black morel that was dried and bug eaten. My total is that and an additional 12 yellows. I’ll be foraging, with Rich, one more day – Tuesday – in the mountains, and then it’s surgery on the left eye.

Rich2Rich1Even with the scarcity, we found three “stuffer” yellows yesterday, Saturday,  at the same location we, along with Steve Peek,  found four big stuffers last year. The picture above is Rich with his two jewels. Holding them out front makes them larger optically. That’s an old fisherman’s trick. The same technique works with “dry land fish”.

We maximized our meager Friday find with fresh ramps, fresh asparagus from Rich’s garden and some farm eggs from a friend, and we made a big omelet.

All was not lost. We foraged some ramps for Rich to take back to our buddy Steve in Asheville. We weren’t able to get him out for a wheelchair foray, but we tell each other “Steve stories” as we forage.


One-Eyed Morel Hunter

morel20162Well, not literally, but recent cataract surgery certainly mimics it. On March 24 I had the right one removed, and on April 21 the second one goes. In the meantime, none of my existing glasses work. The best arrangement is taking the right lens out of my backup bifocals. That keeps halos away at night, but hunting mushrooms is problematic because one eye is always blurry and working hard trying to compensate. Also, to protect the healing right eye, I use safety glasses while walking in the woods to keep twigs morel20161from zapping the surgeons handiwork. So, morel season is a challenge. Never the less, here is a picture of my first of the season, and wait ’til next year!!

Reports of black ones have been non-existent to scarce. This week, two friends have also found nice yellows. It may be that the vacillating temperatures have bypassed the black morels. I have found none in the two “early” patches that I always check beginning on mid-Match. We should have a good reading of the yellow morel possibilities this week.

Depending on the distance of the viewed object and type of glasses used (none, reading, of modified bifocals) I have to “feature” either my left or right eye. The result is constant winking with one eye or the other.

Signed: The one-eyed winking ‘shroomer (until 4/21/2016). Apologies for the pictures. The software has changed and I can’t get the images rotated properly. I’ll work on that, but maybe it’s just my squinting and winking and not the software.