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.

cowIMG_1399