Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Mushroom Wind

I've always wondered how some mushrooms effectively spread their spores when they barely get above the forest duff.

Here is part of the answer: Mushrooms Make Their Own Wind.
LiveScience  |  By Douglas Main

mushrooms wind
Laser light illuminates spores spreading from this Amanita muscaria mushrooms. Mushrooms "make their own wind" to spread spores, new research shows.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

First Frost

Earlier this week the temperature dropped below freezing. Last weekend I had the pleasure of showing some friends a spot I knew to be good for hedgehogs and chanterelles and as it happened we found a small quantity of both.
Then this weekend I visited some old haunts to see if anything was left, and to my delight I found a good number of fairly large belly button hedghogs, and some late Golden Chanterelles. I also visited a log where I had left an Admirable Bolete and found that it had begun to rot. So with the data from several years now in hand I came up with the following table for when the various choice forest mushrooms are likely to flush. I'll adjust it in the future as I gather more data.

August September October November December

White Chanterelle

Pacific Golden Chanterelle


Bleeding Milk Caps

Admirable Bolete

Mika Cap

Pear Shaped Puffball

Conifer Coral Hericium


Fluted Black Elfin Saddles



Winter Chanterelle

Winter Oyster

Friday, November 15, 2013

Best Video on Cooking Mushrooms

After enjoying a feast of Hedghogs tonight, I thought about a classic video on cooking mushrooms I had seen one time, and thanks to the wonders of YouTube, I was able to find it. I love the repartee between Jamie and Genaro. Brilliant.

Here is a video from last weekend of me in a young forest scoring a nice clutch of Hedghogs, the ones I had for dinner tonight in fact. I am a very happy man.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Two Kinds of Hedgehogs -- Hydnum repandum and Hydnum umbilicatum

Last weekend while collecting Hedghogs near Nanaimo I came crashing out of the bush onto a trail and saw two people bent at the waist looking intently at the forest floor. I recognized the stance -- mushroom hunters. I then spent a few happy hours chatting with Chris and Victoria about mushrooms and related topics and wandering through the forest with them looking for mushrooms. I really enjoyed their enthusiasm and it was nice to share tips and observations with folks who clearly enjoyed hunting for mushrooms as much as I do!

Victoria recommended an app she uses called, Roger's Mushrooms. I went home and found the product on the net right away. http://www.rogersmushrooms.com/   The names comes from Roger Phillips, the man behind the project, and he is someone well known for his photographs and films about plants and gardening. 
If you have found a great resource like this one, I would love to hear about it. comment on this post or send me an e-mail at quietlake at stillinthestream dot com. 

Here is a video from last weekend with a tip about collecting fragile mushrooms like Hedgehogs and getting them home in good shape: 

Yesterday, after a trip to Cathedral Grove to look at the big trees with friends, and three separate specimens of Bears Head (Conifer Coral Hericium) which I showed great restraint in not picking, I returned to the Nanaimo area and went into a piece of forest with fairly dense Salal that I have been interested in exploring for some time. I found a large patch of Lobster Mushrooms, only two of which were in good shape, some small thin Golden Chanterelles, and a number of small Belly Button Hedghogs scattered across about an acre of forest. Not terribly exciting. 

Today I went a little further afield to a location I knew to be good for Hedghogs. I found a lot of Hedghogs,  a bunch of Golden Chanterelles still in good shape (and a good number past there prime too!), and Winter Chanterelles at various stages of development. Here is my video from today:
The Bleeding Milk Caps are almost past their prime and the Golden Chanterelles are declining in numbers and quality, so as the frost threatens to knock down the Hedghogs, it seems likely that we soon will be reduced to collecting Winter Oysters, Winter Chanterelles, and Matsutake from the woods of Vancouver Island. 

But, until the frosts hit hard, we still have a couple of good weeks for picking for those varieties. So, happy hunting!