Sheep Polypore

28 Oct

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Albatrellus ovinus is a mushroom I only started eating in recent years as finding good information on it wasn’t easy, this is a mushroom which may not agree with everyone who eats it, so sample a small quantity your first time if you decide to try it. There is very little North American info on how to prepare this mushroom and the N A recipes I’ve tried in the last few days which recommended pan frying a mix of onions and spices with Sheep Polypore tasted fine only I couldn’t taste any Sheep Polypore which previously I found tasted quite good just fried in oil & butter till it is crispy. I should mention once again that Albatrellus ovinus turns yellow while cooking and the similar Albatrellus confluens doesn’t yellow though it will turn peach, both mushrooms are edible and look alike. To add a little more confusion there is also another very rare family member Albatrellus subrubescens which is similar looking and it probably should cause temporary stomach problems though I can’t find any info on what color it turns when cooked, in the few spots it has been found in Canada it appears to have some black-grey to purple-grey cap fibrils so something to keep in mind, I can’t find any records of it being found in the Maritimes but this area’s rarer species are not well known at this time, so it could easily be here in small numbers.

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Back to the (not for the novice mushroom forager), Sheep Polypore, I did find one recipe from Finland where the flavour of the mushroom still shone through, there they remove the stem of the mushroom, trim the cap into a patty shape and then cook this in a light breadcrumb batter till well done, they refer to this as a Sheep Steaks. Here in the Maritime Provinces Sheep Polypore can grow in large numbers in a variety of mixed woods so this is one of only a few good edible mushrooms still available on these near freezing days.

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If you’re still interested in this mushroom as an edible or just in knowing something new that lives close to you here are a few of the European names you may want to do a little internet research on.
Swedish: fårticka—Czech: krásnoporka mlynárka— Finnish: lampaankääpä—German: schafporling—- Norse: fåresopp

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Sheep Polypore is a commercially gathered mushroom in a few northern and also mountainous areas in the world. Here in the Maritimes it may become another nourishing food to be aware of and another good reason to be conscious of what’s going on in our forest. Locally our nature needs our awareness now. ciao

Forager’s Mobiles

14 Oct

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There are 3 different types of Highbush Cranberries in the province of New Brunswick and these ones we see dangling above my head are the best edible one in my vicinity being Viburnum trilobum which grows usually near streams and river floodplains. These berry clusters are extremely easy to gather in nature’s nursery though the processing into juice can seem lengthy unless you really enjoy getting to know your food. Each berry has one large seed and it is best to juice these berries raw after freezing them.

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Back to a view of these berries hanging gently in the sky above, what I’ll be doing with them once juiced isn’t quite clear just yet though an apple cider -Highbush cranberry mix sounds good and possibly a ginger bug Highbush soda, though these are just little thought clouds appearing amongst the clusters at this point. ciao

Fall Jack Pine understory

8 Oct

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Huckleberries plants now with red leaves makes it real easy to also notice the blue to black fruit.

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Huckleberries really show their numbers in this Jack Pine forest come fall, click on the photo to see the numerous berries.

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Hucks and Matsutakes.

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Here we see our largest Maritime woodpecker who climbs backwards down the tree trunk to get low enough to reach back for some berries. These plants are usually waist high on humans so this is the easiest way for them to pick yet they really stretch their necks to get it done.

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This Pileated Woodpecker (click on my cybershot photo my friends) seems to be on the same visiting schedule as me as we met here last week in the evening. This one chooses to stay around 100 feet from me and circles around me for 10 minutes or so. You may have noticed there has been a clearcut on both sides of this 200 foot strip of Jack Pine so many of the fruiting plants, matsutake, birds and all the rest are dealing with the changes. ciao

White Matsutake photos

4 Oct

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Large White Matsutake mushroom.

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Another view.

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A nice group photo.

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A smaller one in deep moss.

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Now out of the moss and almost into the basket. ciao

 

Swollen-stalked Cat

2 Oct

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Usually find just one collection with enough Catathelasma ventricosum for a good basket full these last few years and tonight’s gatherings maybe the best of the lot as these are very freshly emerged mushrooms with only a few breaking their cap veils.

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This mushroom is not very common in most parts of North America and gets very little press as a good edible here though the folks from the Tibet homelands and other mountainous areas of Asia would know this mushroom very well, both as an ancient medicinal and welcomed food especially in soups and stews.  This mushroom is commercially harvested and froze or dried for export from Yunnan province China. good chance you may have already eaten some of these along your path unknowingly.  ciao

Hedgehog Mushroom advisory

15 Sep

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These large young Hedgehog mushrooms are presently appearing in the last week of summer in some of our Maritime mixed forest.

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You best go out and gather a few soon before the frost foils them. ciao

Wild Mushroom Workshop and Foray

14 Sep

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A great variety of wild mushrooms are making an appearance in Maritime forest at this time and in Moncton there will be a 3 hr Workshop on Sept 21  — search  –(Nature Moncton) and click on —activities—- scroll down to Sept 21 —- for details and to register

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The following weekend starting Sept 26 is the annual NS Mycological Society Foray which will be held in Wallace  NS a good central location for Maritimers, —search—-NS Mushrooms or http://www.nsmushroom.org – for details

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The wild mushroom I’ve featured today is a bit of a colourful rarity in this area of world and workshops and forays are a great opportunity to see the amazing forms of life often left unknown to us.

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As we become more aware of the naturally provided foods, medicinal plants and mushrooms along with acknowledging their beauty we will definitely be naturally engaged in their which is inevitably our own protection and well being.

DSC07247Here is a coconut scented mushroom, in wild mushroom discovery scent, texture, density and color all come into play. More than 3/4 of the folks who visit my post are from areas outside Canada so to all of you local and otherwise I wish you naturally pleasant trails. ciao

Appearing today

7 Sep

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The Grayling, Cantharellula umbonata

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Amethyst Deceiver, Laccaria amethystine

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Swollen Stalk Cat, Cathelasma ventricosum

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King Bolete, Boletus edulis

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Lobster mushrooms, Hypomyces lactifluorum     It is amazing how we feel familiar with what is never the same. ciao

Summer, mushrooms and change

6 Sep

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Chanterelle is a mushroom I started gathering around 35 years ago and the mushroom in front of the 2 chanterelle mushrooms in the photo Lactarius lignyotus, the Chocolate Milky is one I have recently began to gather for the table.

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Still undecided whether I’ll add this one to my Wild Edible Mushroom page as there is little info on its edibility beyond a few sources from Quebec Canada. I know I can eat this mushroom with no problem so far though I’m not sure how many folks have actually tried it in NA and worldwide.

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The cap and stem of this mushroom are almost black in color when they first appear, then the cap and stem gradually fade to light brown. The gills start out almost white and start gradually darkening up to also become light brown, so when very mature the mushrooms cap, stem and gills are shades of light brown. I’ll keep eating and experimenting with recipes before I make a decision on this guy.

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These Chocolate Milkys are common under spruce and other conifers so they can be gathered in good numbers though the are fragile and crush easily in your basket if layered. In conifers these mushrooms often grow where Hedgehog and Chanterelle are so it will be convenient gathering if this one becomes a wild mushroom I can trust as a safe edible long term.

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Last photo is my first sighting of Craterrellus tubaeformis the Winter Chanterelle, hang in there summer. ciao

Foggy foraging

1 Sep

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This is my favorite forest for tree burls with several hundred mature conifers with impressive burls, on this foggy holiday some like this one provide quite an atmosphere to wander amongst.

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Since I’ve never gathered the White Matsutake mushroom this early in Sept or in this area this leaves me to suspect this must be my first sighting of a Catathelasma ventricosum mushroom this year.

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Yup, this is what we call in NA the Swollen Stalked Cat which is a good edible and is becoming more popular here in the west, though it has a long history of being used as a healthy food in areas like Tibet. Here it is often used in stews, soups, it can also be BBQ’ed and pickled. This one smells like cucumber.

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Oh, nearing a brook I see a shrub I often forget about in the fog of the busy mushroom season, though this is an ideal time to gather the ripe firm fruit of Highbush cranberries which can be frozen and then thawed to make it easier to obtain the juice by pressing raw. I chewed and sucked on a few of the crunchy berries and then removed the large seed from my mouth, these are tart and refreshing and vitamin C rich. Well I’ve shared enough interesting stuff for today. ciao

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