Archive | September, 2012

Baskets overfloweth

29 Sep

Nature Moncton held a wild mushroom workshop this afternoon so I took over the mushrooms that were shown in last night’s blogging boletus post and decided this morning to gather up a few more varieties for the event.

Started out pretty good with a few honey mushrooms, king boletes and orange-latex milkys, but I soon found out all the small mushroom would need to be transfer to other containers as the King bolete and bay bolete were out in force. I gathered 2 other wild mushrooms,  Catathelasma ventricosum and  a handful of grayling and then spent the next hour picking some huge boletes some over a lb each and end up with more king boletes then I’ve seen in a decade, the dry summer with a rainy last half of September really stirred up the boletus.

The baskets and car trunk were full and now the food driers are heating the house on this cool evening with the pleasant aroma of earthy King and Bay boletus. I can smell the lovely winter soups already. ciao


Blogging Boletus

29 Sep

I was out to find white matsutake, but boletus stole the show. Click on and have look

King Bolete maybe.

No it is the Bay Bolete (Boletus badius), still a tasty one.

These seem interesting.

Chrome-foot Bolete (Leccinum chromapes).

Here are some pear-shaped puffballs (Lycoperdon pyriforme) a little bolete break. View looking down a standing tree trunk.

Scaber cap (Leccinum ?) these boletes are staining electric blue in small areas when cut on a few of these Scaber caps and rose and light pink on others.

Here are 6 different edible boletus, clockwise, (1) chrome-foot bolete, (2) scaber cap, (3) hollow-stem suillus, (4) banana bolete, (5) bay bolete and in the center (6) king bolete. This area is my favorite white matsutake site and rarely produces any boletes accept hollow-stems though I’m not complaining all these boletes are good edibles and most of what I gathered will be dried for soups this winter. There has been recent warnings on the safeness of scaber caps though, as they may not agree with everyone’s tummies. It is always best to try very small amounts of any new food and in fact I found 3 different varieties of scaber caps today, based on the staining of the flesh and cap colors so I will be sampling each type  with caution due to GI reports from the USA in recent years. I have eaten (red/orange Leccinum scaber caps) in dried form for a number of years without any problems but I’m still going to separate the varieties and become real familiar with each type. ciao

Hen of the foray

25 Sep

Gypsy mushrooms (Cortinarius caperatus), click on any of the photos for a closer look.

This next photo of gypsy mushrooms is foggy though the white powdery bloom is very noticeable on the young caps.

I returned home Sunday evening from the Nova Scotia Mycological Society’s 2012 weekend foray held in Ship Harbour NS at the Deanery Project. This down to earth or more accurately into earth event was very enjoyable and although my usual outings are silent,  timeless experiences, I was deeply moved to be on the trails with a variety of folks enjoying nature, the truth of what we are one might say.

Since this rugged part of Nova Scotia with lots of conifer forest, rocky areas and many lakes and small rivers along the Atlantic coast was new to me I chose a variety of routes back and forth to the foray and noticed Red Oak trees in a few isolated areas I decided to make a stop at one of these spots since Oak trees are rare in my home area and Oaks are well known for hosting many choice edible mushrooms.

I’ve been foraging wild mushrooms for many decades and this is my first gathering of Maitake or Hen of the Woods, (Grifola frondosa). No wonder this wild edible is so popular in the New England states as it is very tender and tasty and fills the basket in no time.

This mushroom is excellent pan fried in butter, but 3/4 of the collection will be dried and used as a nice addition to my other medicinal tea mushrooms (white matsutake, chaga, and the gypsy mushroom)  Maitake will add a new pleasant flavour to the contents of the tea cup this winter and throughout the year.

There were a few other wild mushrooms amongst the oaks which were quiet striking, including some large colorful Russulas and this purple stemmed bolete which looks like Tylopilus eximius  but the nearest conifer was 75 feet away?

I’ll stop now, you’ve been dazzled enough by the glorious fungus fruits of Nova Scotia. ciao for now

Wooden know it, till you see it

19 Sep

It is easy to see how full of live this old poplar stump is today with the (fawn mushroom) Pluteus cervinus on top, some young cup fungus in the middle and further down a tinder polypore.

Click on the photo for a good look, this old stump deserves our attention for naturally being a gracious host to the many who have flourished in this residence.  ciao

The king is back, the lobster to and maybe the miller?

15 Sep

Nice to see a King Bolete.

Here is a photo showing the pores on the underside of the cap and also another little bolete relative leaning on the king.

Another king bolete not far away over seeing his domain.

A string of lobster mushroom  far out into the field, usually they will be on the very edge of fields or more commonly in the woods.

These mushrooms I suspect are Clitopilus prunulus (sweetbread or miller mushroom), since I haven’t collected or eaten this one before they will need to be preserved until their identity is verified which means I’ll mail out a few dried specimen soon as matching field characteristics and a pink spore print just aren’t enough to take a chance on, this one has a few dangerous look alikes..  ciao

Live forever, Orpine in a puppy cup

2 Sep

I placed a few bare Orpine stems in a cup with some water back in May just to investigate what would happen and tonight I was encouraged by other house members to plant the results from the cup outside, which worked out fine with rain expected.

Some european superstitions from a few hundred years ago I find fun and will share with you tonight concerning Orpine (Sedum telephium) are (1) Leaving a plant in your home to keep folks healthy. (2) Place Orpine plant on your thatch roof to prevent a lightning strike. (3) Placing Orpine stems on your roofs to see if they will wilt and twine together to predict relationship compatibility. I’m sure there were plenty more superstitions surrounding a plant of this nature, though for me I admire Orpine’s ability to live green and its great tasting leaves and tubers.

In  dark shady forest even this late in the summer, Orpine  will often look like the photo above though there will be more distance between the sets of leaves and these forest Orpines will not reach the flowering stage often for many decades unless the surrounding trees are cut. ciao

Solidago and Suaeda

1 Sep

I haven’t posted any photos or talked about any seaside or salt marsh plants in my blog, but that will all changes tonight as I just transplanted a couple of plants from an isolated beach with a nice salt marsh tucked in behind it.

Seaside goldenrod (Solidago sempervirens) which I’ve never used as an edible plant, though I’ve often admired its healthy green-ness while gathering other seaside greens. It turns out the Monarch butterfly is also attracted to this plant and frequently visit its flowers for nourishment. I’ve recently  become more interested in the goldenrod family and will start making some teas in the near further from seaside goldenrod and a few other goldenrod members.

This Seablite (Suaeda americana) looks like I haven’t been very nice to it, but the truth is it was just as sprawling where I gathered it from as it is now. I may experiment with growing Seablite sprouts this winter. Seablite is another plant I haven’t paid much attention to over the years as the more popular maritime greens like goosetongues, glassworts, seabeach sandwort and sea-rocket were the ones I was gathering for use as vegetables or they were going in the salad bowl. Great fun to stop and get better aquainted with these plants I’ve been kinda just nodding to on my way by for plenty of decades now. ciao