Black Trumpet Mushroom

Black Trumpet Mushroom

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Follow the rain...

Its not the prettiest specimen perhaps but what you see there is my first maitake for 2012. (It turned out to be my first and ONLY maitake find in '12). I've already cooked it up and eaten some and it's delicious.

We've finally had some rain around here but, except for a large patch of what I believe are honey mushrooms, there hasn't been much to speak of coming up locally. I think we need a lot of rain to overcome the very dry soil conditions from earlier in summer.

So I used the precipitation map here... find out where the most rain fell. I noticed that there's a National Forest just to the west of where I live that had an extra 1-2" of rain from a recent storm...So today I hopped in my car and a short drive later I was foraging around a park where the ground was noticeably wetter and there were quite a lot of mushrooms around.

Which goes to show you...You might have the perfect spot but if that spot hasn't had rain for 3 weeks you're not going to find many mushrooms. Sometimes you have to follow the rain.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Chicken of the Woods

Well its been a hot, dry summer and consequently not much to write about. But finally we had *some* rain here in central NY (not a lot) so I took a walk in the woods to see what I could find...

This is a chicken of the woods that fruits on a log not too far from my house. Last year I had a large fruiting in early July I believe. This year it finally showed up on Sept 7th, rather late in the year for this mushroom.

I left it there for now. We're supposed to get some rain tomorrow but if we don't I'm going to try and pour water on it to get it to grow. I'll let you know how it goes.

btw...I know Chicken of the Woods isn't a choice edible but I happen to think its pretty tasty if you harvest it while its still young. If it grows much beyond the size of your hand then it gets woody and loses its flavor. If you're going to eat an older Chicken of the Woods then save the outer 2-3 inches and toss the rest.