Black Trumpet Mushroom

Black Trumpet Mushroom

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Splash of Orange

Chicken of the Woods, 8.23.15
After a crazy wet June and a average wet July it's been dry dry dry in August. So it was surprising to see several fresh Chickens popping up. Apparently Laetiporus sulphureus (Sulphur Shelf, Chicken of the Woods) needs just the right moisture content before it will fruit. Not too dry but not too wet either. This is the 3rd fresh Chicken I've found in the last 5 days so it can't be a coincidence. Interesting.

All well and good for Chicken of the Woods - a colorful but, lets be honest, mediocre tasting mushroom - but what about my beloved Maitakes? The dry weather is worse than either of the dry late summers we've had in Upstate NY the past 3 years and it's killing me. Just tonight we had a storm that was supposed to drop over an inch of rain but we didn't even get a 1/2 inch. If the forecast holds up August rainfall will be well below average. 

I remind myself that the Chanterelle's have been amazing this year. My freezer is full of zip-locked bags of sauteed chanties. Besides, I've found fresh Maitakes as late as mid-October. There's still time.