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Jack Pine Mushrooms

9 Oct

Here is a new edible for me, these Hawk wing mushroom are easy to ID to Sarcodon but a little tricky to nail down all the way. These in the above photo appear to be Sarcodon squamosus due to their large size with some caps in the surroundings being 20 to 25 cm across, also they were not bitter tasting and grew in Jack Pine, all factors to help with identification. These mushrooms tend to get mixed reviews as edibles so leave this one off your list unless you are very experienced with edible wild mushrooms. In the jack pine forest visually Hawk wing mushrooms are a very pleasant find.

Now these above Lyophyllum mushrooms are very interesting to me also and may actually be Lyophyllum shimeji which is a prized edible in Japan. Lyophyllum shimeji has been found in northern Europe and recently NFLD so this maybe more than just wishful thinking on my behalf as the sandy acid soil with plenty of lichen under jack pine trees fits the bill for Lyophyllum shimeji. It has been a very dry year for Moncton area mushrooms but even this type of year can produce some nice surprises.



18 Aug


Trying a few new food things with chokecherries which I’ll probably post on down the road. Here is a phone photo trailer for you which seems to nicely capture a forager’s view of this abundant wild Maritime fruit. Ciao





Amelanchier berries

5 Aug



Adding this photo to my wild fruit page and should also say a few words as this is one of our most spectacular wild fruits when ripening. Sometimes there can be numerous trees with plenty of these white, red and purplish blue berries which are very showy. These Amelanchier berries are also quite tasty especially when cooked in pies, scones and muffins.

We have around 20 different varieties of Amelanchiers here, one with a miniature American football shape which I enjoy seeing and eating. Amelanchiers vary in size from a foot high plant to 25 foot trees. Amelanchier berries are not commonly gathered in the Maritimes though in the Prairie Provinces it is an old favorite which goes by the name of Saskatoon berries. Hope you folks get a chance to see this member of the rose family one day in all its glory in a moist thicket, you’ll be pleased.


Wild Roses Are Pretty Hip

29 Nov


Going to add a few photos to my wild fruit page so I thought it would be a good time for a short post as well.


Wild Rose hips are one of the most Vita rich foods we have on this planet and we have quite a few varieties growing wild right here in the Maritime provinces.


Most of our native roses have rather small hips which turns out to be not a bad thing as you can eat the whole hip with seeds included which gives you plenty of Vit C and Vit E and much more in this healing food. Word of caution though, some may find the seeds hard on their teeth.


If you do not want to eat them raw there are plenty of recipes, teas, soups, jellies etc available on the net.


I should also mention our native wild roses are a healthy food you can gather the entire Fall season and even well into the winter. Even if you don’t want to eat them, I hope you enjoyed seeing them and will take note of their brightness this Fall and Winter on your travels. ciao


Maritime Lobster Mushrooms

14 Aug


Lobster Mushrooms are out in good numbers in the Maritimes now, so check out my catch of the day.


This one is rather smooth with not much sign of gill ridges.


I find most of my Lobster Mushroom usually near mature Eastern White Pine and an area with mixed woods with large Poplar trees can be prime spots to have a look also.




These 3 photos show the weight divisions Lobster Mushrooms often fall into with the 1st photo 1/4 lb, 2nd 1/2 lb and last one weighed 1lb.


The closest Lobster Mushrooms appears slightly over mature but look around as often there will be plenty of good ones near by, the white powder visible on the gill surface is not mold it is actually spores so this is not a sign the mushroom is not still good to eat. Two things to check concerning whether a Lobster Mushroom is still in good shape for eating is a light to slightly darker orange color, nothing in the red to purple range and when you squeeze the stem at ground level it is very firm. If there are soft spots or brown colored areas somewhere on the mushroom above the firm stem just cut them out and you should still have plenty of choice mushroom left.


Here is what was in a 25 foot area of the above photo.


Back home with a basketful of goodies which will soon be processed into a yummy Lobster Mushroom marinate thanks to Hank Shaw’s website › 2016 › July › 18



August Maritime Mushrooms

1 Aug


Here I am going into a Chanterelle patch.


Exiting the Chanty patch I turn around to see lots of orange untouched mushrooms on the ground where I’ve passed. Gently tip toeing through and reaching out is important to disturb the moss as little as possible, also leave plenty of mature and small mushrooms. This will benefit you for decades down the road as long as the forest isn’t harvested.


Next a nice Lobster Mushroom.


For adventurist Maritime mycophile there seems to be lots of Albatrellopsis confluens out in forest today. In Europe this mushroom is eaten but rated far lower than its common look alike Sheep Polypore. Some folks in Colorado on the other hand claim Albatrellopsis confluens is better than Sheep Polypore as an edible. I find Sheep Polypore is hard to beat though I’m going to give this A confluens another chance to sway me over.



If you are interested in trying this sometimes common Maritime mushroom you must only sample a few bites the first time which is recommended for any new wild food and make sure you thinly slice and cook at medium heat for over 10 minutes.  The mushroom should turn pinkish while cooking, if it turns lemon yellow it will be a Sheep Polypore. Click on the 2nd photo to notice the smooth pore surface with tiny pin holes, this mushroom often bruises pink or light orange when handled. These are large mushrooms you will notice from afar.





August shades of the colourful Russula mushrooms, these ones shown here are from mixed and conifer forest as I passed through both on my mile or so of foraging today. I won’t get into the edibility of the Russula mushrooms I’ve shown you here as I can’t even identify some of them, there are over a 100 different reddish Russula along so you can understand my dilemma, nevertheless Russula mushroom as a rule are one of the safer edible groups though there are a few very hot tasting ones you do not want chew on and a few which bruise black which people have had short term stomach issues with, of course seeing these lovely life forms is every bit as pleasant as the food some of them safely provide, with that in mind I hope you’re enjoying all the colors of your local August forest where ever you are. ciao


Awaken to a Chanterelle dream

27 Jul


This photo was so magically hazy I had to find away to place it in the post. A few hundred chanterelle on this steep hillside made for some pleasant shady picking. Click on the photo to see all the little orange ones all over the place.


A closer Chanterelle look but still a little groggy.


Now in this Maritime dreamland there are more than just Chanterelles as here we see a bolete in the King Bolete clan.


Check the bottom of the stem to see if it is still solid and no significant worm holes and this one as you can see is in good shape for eating.


I’ve found this mushrooms conifer cousin before on mature eastern hemlock but here is my first run in with Chicken of the Woods, Laetiporus sulphureus which you will only find on hardwoods, usually the uncommon red oak in my area, unfortunately.


Some may have a reaction to Laetiporus so start with a small amount the first time out. This is day 2 for me with this mushroom as an edible and really enjoyed it cooked in butter then made into a sandwich with lettuce and mayo, the initial try was a piece the size of a dried apricot sliced in 1/4″ strips and fried in olive oil for 10 minutes which was over cooked but I could see potential. So concludes this dreamy Maritime mushroomy post. ciao


Marinated Lobster mushrooms

16 Sep


My computer is on the blink it seems so here is my first attempt at a phone post, interested see how it will pan out. Above you see some Lobster mushrooms I’m salting which is one of the first steps in this Italian mushroom marinate recipe from ( — 17) check it out, I’ve tried this recipe with Russula mustelina and Lobster mushrooms last month and they both turned out great.


It is surprising more folks are not gathering Lobster mushrooms here on the east coast as they are quite common, usually in clusters of 3 to 5 mushrooms. You do seem to lose  some of the mushroom during cleaning as they have soil embedded in them though from this cluster after paring off what I didn’t want I still walked away with 2 lbs of choice wild mushrooms which I would usually dry and eat a small amount fresh though now I really like this mushroom pickled or in this recipe mentioned above from Hunter Anglar Gardener Cook where you salt, boil in vinegar, dry (which I’m going to check my dryer in a minute) then jar up and cover with spiced olive oil. Well I better go get’em.  Ciao


Corn Lily

18 May


Corn Lily – (Blue bead lily) – Clintonia borealis – doesn’t stay tasty long, often by the time you recognize the plant it is to bitterly late, unless you have located areas of large beds in previous years and are familiar with its early growth.



This is a plant I haven’t gathered much as I never found any spots with a large enough population of plants, but today there are 10s of thousands in this area so I’ll gather a few as I would like to try a recipe with them.


In this collecting area south of Moncton this cucumber tasting plant is kind of distinct with its early start, size & up right curved around leaves so this isn’t a problem to identify here, though in other areas there may be a poisonous Lily member look-alike so study this one very well before gathering it for food these early growth edibles can be tricky and even in my province just 50 miles away along the St John River grows the toxic Veratrum viride which is larger but somewhat similar in early growth so be thorough with your Lily family identification. Off topic for a second – have a look at the single leaf in the bottom right, this is a Trout Lily leaf growing from a new young bulb, this will take possibly up to 5 more years before the bulb is mature enough to produce flowering, at this location the Corn Lilies and Trout Lilies seem to colonize their own separate densely populated villages throughout these hardwoods of mostly Betula cordifolia mountain birch, surprised  to see very little Chaga mushroom up here.


Here is a Corn Lily in flower in early June, the leaves are much to bitter to eat at this stage. ciao


White Matsutake photos

4 Oct


Large White Matsutake mushroom.


Another view.



A nice group photo.



A smaller one in deep moss.


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