Archive | October, 2013

Seeing signs of mushrooms

26 Oct

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Here is a fallen hardwood trunk nicely covered with Oyster mushrooms in prime shape for eating, also on this trunk were 3 Ganoderma applanatum fungi, aka (Artist Conk) so I wrote on 1 of these and will bring it home as well to dry and later use as a tea ingredient due to having similar medicinal properities as its close relative the Reishi mushroom.

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Some more young Oyster mushrooms.

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The Oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) grows quite big here in eastern Canada with the largest ones in the photo measuring over 9 inches across the cap. Looks like a deer has nibbled on the mushroom in the middle of this group as they were around 4 feet of the ground. These larger Oyster mushrooms I like to dry and then powder to be used in medicinal teas or other foods like soups and baked goods.

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More mushrooms and some fall colours for your enjoyment. ciao

Mushroom forest floor show

21 Oct

Here are a few eye catching mushrooms from a New Brunswick forest of eastern white pine and beech trees. Click on the photos to see nature’s amazing art.

First time I've seen this toxic Amanita

First time I’ve seen this poisonous Amanita

Probably Amanita atkinsoniana or onusta

Probably Amanita atkinsoniana or onusta, both are toxic

Irregular Earth Tongue were pretty colorful

These Irregular Earth Tongue were pretty colorful

Irregular Earth Tongue, plenty under the pines

Irregular Earth Tongue, plentiful under the pines

Angel Wings (no longer considered a safe edible)

Angel Wings (no longer considered a safe edible)

Angel wings (A closer look)

Angel Wings (There were reports from Asia on deaths related to eating this mushroom in recent years)

Ciao for now

Mushroom Tree-eats

20 Oct

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On my way back from a conifer forest I happen to notice the above hardwood trunk with the nice woodpecker holes which seem to be calling me to come and explore this area of the Caledonia Mountain for some tree mushrooms.

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Well the first few steps down the steep hill turned up some Sarcomyxa serotina ( Late Fall Oyster mushrooms) on a bumpy old beech tree, these mushrooms are edible but let us move on now as we will return this way in a while and may gather some at that time.

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I continue on a calm and pleasant walk down the hill probably 10 minutes not noticing any mushrooms of edible interest possibly due to the thick blanket of leaves covering the ground and the trees were not producing either so it was time to move over a few hundred feet and head back up to the top. Now on this new route I do notice the above tree which looks to have some large mushrooms on it from this distance.

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Ah, some large and fresh young caps of Pleurotus ostreatus (Oyster mushrooms).

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This one tree trunk has 6 clusters on it and I don’t even need to use my tent pole to dislodge them, a very generous gift giving me 10 extra lbs to carry back up this hill which is all part of the fun in these natural workouts.

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Up hill a bit more and there a hundred plus feet away another tree with oyster-like mushrooms on the mid trunk and also 2 different polypore mushrooms below and above. This one turned out to be Sarcomyxa serotina again, I didn’t gather any of these today though I have an interest in this mushroom as a potential medicinal tea mushroom, it is also known as (Mukitake).

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Thanks to this hardwood forest in the Caledonia Mountains of New Brunswick for its hospitality today. ciao

Mushrooms, Today’s frosty 5

19 Oct

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As usual things did not turn out as planned and the mushroom I was most interested in finding is not out yet as it will probably take a few more rains and frosty nights. Nevertheless here are a few good wild edibles which were making an appearance today. In the photo there are over a hundred Grayling mushrooms from the bottom of the photo to the basket, sometimes things are hard to see even when they are right under your feet..

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Grayling, Cantharellula umbonata

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Catathelasma ventricosum

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Wood Blewit, Lepista nuda

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Meadow waxycap, Hygrocybe pratensis

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Lactarius deterrimus

http://nbharbinger.wordpress.com/2013/10/19/what-really-happened-in-rexton/

Click above If you are interested in interbeing, here is a peek at some current events taking place in New Brunswick at this time. ciao

Suillus cavipes

13 Oct

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Usually for the last 20 years I have only used Suillus species in dried form for adding a beefiness to soups and sauces. An interesting mushroom with their felty caps and hollow stems deer can’t resist biting of the caps and leaving the stems still standing.

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This one in the photo has a blonde cap which was a surprise as the cap is usually dark brown like the stem.

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A couple photos of the fully expanded mushroom’s top and under side views.

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I couldn’t recall the flavour of this mushroom when fresh so I decided to cook it with a little salt in its own juices to taste the true flavour of this fall mushroom which only grows under Larch trees. On its own the flavour was quite good with a hint of lemon. If you prepare this mushroom in the usually way we cook button mushrooms you will find it becomes to mushy to be appetizing and this is largely the reason why many Suillus are not considered good edibles south of Finland. The only thing holding Suillus cavipes from being a poplar edible mushroom especially here in the east coast of Canada where it is very common is a chef’s proper attention to this mushroom’s true potential. ciao

Longing more Matsutake

7 Oct

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It has been 12 days since I last visited my favorite White Matsutake grounds so after work I dropped in on my way home to see if any new ones have emerged in the dry weather we’ve been having.

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I suspect the drier than usual soil conditions may have something to do with the long stems you are seeing on these White Matsutakes.

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The nights have been approaching frost so I was pleased to see quite a few fresh mushrooms in good shape, a nice after work gathering for sure. ciao

Sheep Polypore

5 Oct

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Found a few clusters of Sheep Polypore (Albatrellus ovinus) today so decided to bring them home and give them a try as their close relative Albatrellus confluens turned out to be a good edible as I recall from a sampling I had a while back.

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These young Sheep Polypore seem to be quite soft and tender and I’m curious which Albatrellus will end up as my favorite as Europe seems to prefer ovinus over confluens though N.A considers confluens the best edible.

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As mentioned in many sites that describe Sheep Polypore as an edible mushroom its flesh did turn yellow during cooking and it aroma was pleasant. Most sources of edibility info state this mushroom has to be cooked well before consuming which I made sure was done.

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Well the results are in. — I thought Albatrellus confluens was a good edible and its relative the Sheep Polypore in my opinion is even better than good. Sliced thin and well cooked this is a top 10 edible mushroom when cooked fresh, this is a big surprise as this mushroom is not rated very high in North America. It is possible the growing conditions in the lowlands of eastern New Brunswick may be ideal for this mushroom to produce good quality edible mushrooms as opposed to the mountainous areas of the west where we seem to find most the info on Sheep Polypore’s edibility in N.A. So if you are a wild mushroom expert or you know one, you may want to check this wild mushroom out a little closer if you live in central  N.A. or the east coast. ciao

Gypsy mushrooms

2 Oct

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I forgot my camera tonight though I will show you a few Gypsy mushroom I’ve gathered and have now selected for the table as these mushrooms are at their best when the caps are round and young, the stems need to be discarded as they are hard to digest. The caps should also be well cooked.

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Some of the slightly older mushrooms I will dry to use for tea especially during the flu season. Here is some interesting info concerning this mushroom now known as Cortinarius caperatus. botit.botany.wisc.edu/toms_fungi/nov99.html

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Closer look at the caps with their white cap frosting and lovely wrinkles, click on to really notice these  characteristics, the stem ring and upper stem pattern with a rounded stem bottom are also important to know. There are some reasonably good photos of these in my edible mushroom page. ciao