Thursday, December 1, 2022

This year in Mushrooms

 This poor blog is so neglected, but i still like to try to post now and again to keep it active. If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram then you've probably already seen all these photos, but i'm doing sort of a round up for the year. Mushroom hunting has gone from a little hobby to a full blown obsession. 

i'm not adding all my mushroom harvests from the year, but just a few of the more notable ones. This was 5-9-22. Normally i would be finding Morels in April/May but this year there were very few. The ones i did find were small and dry and the conditions just were not right for them this year. We did get several shiitake from out plugged logs.  They are several years old, so i'm always a bit surprised when they still flush.

We had another amazing year for Chicken of the Woods and chanterelles. This photo is from July.  Now that we've found a few logs that produce chicken of the woods on our property, we tend to check those spots every time we are out hiking. Same goes for cauliflower mushrooms and lion's mane. Anything that comes back year after year.  We have over a dozen logs now that we know produce chicken of the woods. We were able to pack the freezer full this year.

Another photo from July. We tend to find chanterelles and black trumpets from July until October depending on the conditions. i have a fabulous black Trumpet spot on my property under a grove of Beech trees. They are one of my favorites to find.  

This is our best Chicken of the Woods log. i stumbled upon it a few years ago and it has produced an amazing amount of chicken of the woods every year since. This year it flushed twice. Chicken of the woods is still my favorite mushroom. As long as you get it when it is prime it's absolutely delicious! 

We typically only mushroom hunt on our land, but decided to try some new areas on a hunt for Hen of the Woods (Grifola frondosa).  This is one of the few mushrooms we do not find often on our land. We found one small one several years ago, and check the spot every year but it never came back. This year i found one completely randomly while checking my Chicken of the Woods logs and it inspired us to go hunting off our property in some areas where i knew they often came up.

We ended up finding several at the beginning of September which is pretty early for them around here. We went back to the same place a few times and found at least one each time. Hens are great to cook and freeze for later. We were super thrilled to pack our freezer full. 

Every year i make sort of a mushroom bucket list.  i choose mushrooms i've never found before and try to find at least one before the end of the year.  Last year my bucket list mushroom was the Indigo Milk Caps. It was really exciting to find a whole patch of them on the land behind my house. This year i didn't even find one, but i did find Blewitts!  These are not rare or especially exciting, but i had never found one before and had it on my bucket list. The first one i found was at the same place i'd found the hens. After correctly identifying it i went looking in my own woods and found a few more.  These have to be one of the cutest mushrooms ever. They are edible, although i haven't tried them yet. 

This is a collection of some of the edible mushrooms that come up on my land. Chicken of the woods, chanterelles, cinnabars, black trumpets, honey fungus, Cauliflower mushroom, Hen of the woods, Lion's Mane, Purple gilled Laccaria, Green Russula and Shrimp of the woods.  i'm always amazed at the variety that pops up right in my backyard.  i've been wanting to get a picture for a while of all the different mushrooms, but can never find them all at the same time to get a group picture. This is the best i've gotten so far, although i'm still missing Oysters, hedgehogs, Indigos, pheasant backs, blewitts and of course morels (early spring).   i've only ever found hedgehogs here once and that was several years ago. i also found a Bear's Head Tooth here once.

i'm already looking forward to see what types of mushrooms we find next year! i've already found so many mushrooms that were on my bucket list i'm going to have to create a new one!  


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