Sunday, September 25, 2011
the woods were very dark on friday evening, the sound of rain dripping through the trees our only company as the two of ambled along. at first i was a bit surprised how FEW mushrooms i saw popping up through the moss, but then i spotted a bit of forest magic. the above pinecones are a little ode to margie, and the magical mushroom-covered pinecones she posted last week. i was lucky enough to spot my own little fircone caps, just popping out of the douglas fir cones nestled on the forest floor. once i saw one, they were suddenly everywhere, little treasures to distract me from more serious mushroom hunting. luckily, A is used my easy distraction, and continued to wander ahead in search of what he came for.
the polypores, robust almost year round, seemed refreshed by the rain, increasing their numbers on trees and old logs. i think if we go out today, i will try to gather a few and see if i can get any dye out of them. i am watching especially for the dye polypore, phaeolus schweinitzii, but we get a lot of red-belted polypores around here that might be worth experimenting with. and there were a few little brown mushrooms (the ubiquitous LBM) sprouting up here and there. even at 5000 or 6400 ISO, much much higher than i would prefer to go, i was faced with glacier-slow shutter speeds in the gloomy forest, so many of my pics came out blurry.
but what was the real prize of the night? just when we thought we might have come too early, or too late as we spotted a few patches already picked, we found some golden chanterelles beginning to poke through the moss. firm buttons, and some bigger ones unfurling, made for a good gathering and we returned home with nearly 2lbs of cantharellus formosus. oh yum. last night some was enjoyed with fresh local pasta, sauteed up with butter, cream, garlic and a few herbs, and okay, a little splash of rum. a few more i sliced up for the dehydrator, to save for later. we are hoping to head out again this afternoon and see what has emerged after the deluge of last night and this morning. something approaching sunshine seems to be peering through the clouds, but more rain is due tonight, which just means the fungi will keep coming!
how is your weekend going?