Archive | November, 2014

That fluffy light feeling

15 Nov

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The first snow landed gently last evening.

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Even the smaller branches will withstand snow of this nature.

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This morning the feelings is still here in the freshness of the obvious change.

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Another morning view and now as I write these words the snow has already left all the branches in the photos.

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Moving on in more of a wintergreen direction, a look at the largest Teaberry I’ve ever seen. ciao

Welcome to our world

8 Nov

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Here are a few not so foragery photos for you tonight. It was a cold one with a -11 Celsius wind chill and 40 km breeze, nevertheless some rosehips and mushrooms found their way into the basket. You may want to click on the photos for a closer look, this first one especially has a lot going on.

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You knew I’d find a way to slide a mushroom into this post somewhere. ciao

Marsh, mushrooms and the white stuff

7 Nov

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The white stuff I’m talking about here isn’t snow, it’s this nice blanket of lichen I noticed on this trail I’m exploring today. This area is covered with deep green moss and many white lichens beds.

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It looks almost like a white road in this photo though it to is lichen and I’m also noticing a few over-mature White Matsutake mushrooms and a few other interesting ones as well.

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Here is a bit of a hard mushroom to get to know as you need to become familiar with all the other local grey capped mushrooms in this family. This one has a sticky grey cap, plus a number of other features to work through before we can call this the very good edible Tricholoma portentosum.

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Since there is at least one serious poisoner which resembles this grey Tricholoma  mushroom I do not recommend anyone try gathering this late fall season mushroom without having it verified by an expert. This is a popular mushroom in central Europe, but it is rarely gathered for the table in the Maritimes.

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These very common looking Lactarius mushroom here in the Maritimes are quite a case, they are one of my favorite smelling things in nature. These mushrooms which can be numerous shades of brown and grey have a scent of sweetened coconut and can greatly vary in size.

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There are probably several different Lactarius mushrooms at play here that just haven’t been named yet, but for today since these ones are on a gravelly hillside with only Jack pine within a few hundred feet the most logically name I can find for them is Lactarius mammosus.

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In pausing a few minutes and miles away, It seems clear how much and also how little is known about this world and this can’t become a problem from a Tantramar marsh perspective, even with the fogginess being experienced on the banks of the LaPlanche. ciao

 

Time to forage a field

4 Nov

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It’s not to late to still find some good edible mushrooms even with the early morning temps hovering near the freezing point. Here is a nice Boletus to prove it. Today I’ve noticed a lot of activity near my usual gathering grounds as deer hunting season has recently started so it may be wise to make myself a lot more visible, so its time to appear out into some open fields. The key here is to select areas which are not sprayed and safe to walk around in, wear hunter orange just in case someone is where they shouldn’t be. Here are some of the mushrooms you may encounter this week in shore- line picnic parks, well travelled walking trails and open recreational areas in the Maritime provinces.

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Blewits

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Horse mushrooms

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Graylings are sometimes in open heath &  grassy areas as long as there is also hair-cap moss.

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You know it’s kind of nice out here in the sun on these cold ones. ciao

The Big Cats are here 2

2 Nov

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A rainy, windy day here in New Brunswick, Canada with a few large conifers snapping their trunks in the forest this afternoon close beside me, later on we have a very good chance of seeing some snow on the ground early tomorrow, but for now let’s look at this large fall mushroom.

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Here we see the mushroom basket with mostly Sheep polypore and the big mushroom I want to introduce here today, also to the right are some fading bunchberry plants and the tiny round leaf plant below which is sometimes called Creeping Snowberry (Gaultheria hispidula) and I must mention these leaves do make a nice wintergreen tasting tea. Click on the photo for a better look.

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Now back to a time when there wasn’t anything in the basket, with me starting out to notice why in some parts of Europe this mushroom is known as the potato mushroom, but until I removed the stem from the moss and soil I wasn’t quite sure what this mushroom was as the cap alone resembles a large version of both the White Matsutake and also the Swollen-stalked Cat.

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Oh, this one is the Imperial Cat, (Catathelasma imperiale) – quite striking isn’t it.

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I’ve been finding just a few of these mushrooms for the last month in this area which is new to me this year so it is interesting to piece together what this edible is known as in other areas of the world. In mountainous areas of Asia and Western N.A this mushroom is mostly known as the Big Cat or Imperial Cat. It is gathered and sold in Markets in Asia and also exported as a food and as a medicinal product, but in North America it is barely considered edible and rarely gathered with its close relative the Swollen-Stalked Cat considered the better edible, as for Europe where it is eaten usually pickled or preserved in oil before consuming. The texture is firmer than most edible mushrooms and I do see that in one very well known Hotel restaurant in Hong Kong it is a key ingredient in one of their Fall season soups.

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Here is a look at the Maritime’s 2 Catathelasma species, C imperiale on the left and C ventricosum on the right. As a rule they seem to be of similar size though the C imperiale I found today did weigh close to 1 lb which is much larger than the usual ones I find. As you can see there are a few differences in flesh, gill and cap colors, but for me the stem ring and the small area directly above it are very different especially in the young mushrooms, click on to see this. So keep an eye open for these not so rare big Maritime Cats many think only live in the mountains out in the western part of NA . ciao