Archive | 12:40 am

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