Archive | wild mushrooms RSS feed for this section

Leccinum piceinum

20 Jul

DSC08159

Here are some photos from a few weeks ago when I gathered a bunch of Leccinum piceinum for drying. The safety in eating orange and red capped Leccinum has been in question for the last decade as a number of folks in NA have suffered GI distress after eating these mushroom fresh and possibly under-cooked but maybe well cooked as well? Supposedly no one has had any issues with the dried mushrooms which can be used in soups or cooked after rehydration. I suspect drying is the way to go if you have any interest in eating red or orange capped Leccinum mushrooms which are usually difficult to identify to specific name.

These mushrooms are real standouts in mossy spruce forest anywhere from late June till November when conditions are right in the Maritimes.

A look under the cap at the pore layer and loose tissue along the edge of the cap.

This is probably the easiest red/orange Leccinum to ID due to it growing in mossy spruce areas with no birch or poplar trees to complicate matters as there are several types of Leccinums growing under those hardwood trees.

Last look at quite a photogenic Maritime mushroom. ciao

 

 

Butyriboletus brunneus

16 Jul

Here is a common Maritime mushroom I’ve avoided doing a post on as some folks will experience allergic reaction to members of this (butter bolete group), even common edibles such as Blewits will cause some people issues, this of course goes beyond wild mushrooms, it’s across the board with foods we find in stores or forest.  I’m not sure of the percentage who will develop GI symptoms from eating these but I suspect it is over 1 in 10 so you may want to not chance this one, for those who try it and it agrees with your system it is an excellent edible. Again though unless you have a long list of wild edible mushrooms you have already tried, it would be unwise to experiment eating one like this early on. This mushroom should be thinly sliced and cooked long. I usually dry them as I like most bolete type mushroom dried to enhance their flavour.

This is a young version, pore surface bright yellow and thin to the cap flesh, stem short and robust.

Here we see the fishnet markings on the right side of the stem which help in identify this mushroom.

Older mushroom with gill layer very thick, on most bolete family members this would mean this mushroom would be too soft and worm holes throughout.

Older mushroom flipped over.

1Left scribed on pores, this helps to ID as the pores should blue quickly after touched.

Here we see the flesh under the thick pore layer still solid and suitable for the table.

I should also mention these mushrooms dry very nicely and have an unusual aroma which I couldn’t find a good description of until  someone who visited asked if a cake was in the oven and yes a homemade white cake or sugared lemon loaf fresh from the oven does smell similar, believe it or not. I may try the mushroom powder in desserts or pancakes.

Umbrella polypore

13 Jul

20170713_200522

Short post on my first gathering of Polyporus umbellatus which is a rare and quite unusual wild edible mushroom here the Maritime provinces. This Umbrella polypore is the size of a loaf of bread and has a scent of toffee. Umbrella polypore is also aka the medicinal mushroom Zhu Ling which makes use of the large woody sclerotia underground the fruiting mushroom. These sclerotia left as is should produce fruiting mushrooms for decades, so I shall return next year to check this out. Zhu Ling is best known for its results for folks with lung cancer and has a long history of usage in China. As for  tastiness of this above ground mushroom, I’ll add a comment later on after I fry some up. This mushroom was found near birch, poplar and young beech so keep your eyes open my fellow Maritime foragers.

20170713_200538

Chaga Mushrooms 2017

7 Jan

A phone post on some of the chaga mushrooms I’m seeing in this new year and also other wintery sights of interest from our Maritime forests. The above photo reminds me of a hidden puzzle game or a piece of art you can’t stop staring at it. 

Ice pans or ice disc, first time I witness these around here. I’ve read they can on occasion be quite large, these little ones stayed spinning around this pool for sometime, made for a good rest spot after leaving the birch woods, this was a few days ago and below we get to zone in on how you can usually tell from several hundred feet if a chaga mushroom is a good size for gathering.


 If from afar you see a snow cap on a dark hump on a tree trunk in a hardwood forest with lots of birch in the mix then this calls for a closer look, real simple. Here we see one near the center right of above photo.


Ah, this chaga horn appears to be not too high up the tree. I can chop it at eye level, notice the smaller one close by.

Looking down hill into the valley and mountain across, this chaga harvesting is quite pleasant.

I’m surprised this photo is not more blurry as my out stretched arm was trembling from the weight while I was trying to hold and take this phone photo with the other hand. The pains I will go through to show off my 2017 chaga.

Anyway, now back home it is fresh chaga and matsutake, rosehip tea time. Cheers

My Hydnellum suaveolens fascination

11 Nov

 

20161105_133708

I’m back again with Hydnellum suaveolens mainly to show the above photo which features a longer stemmed version which nicely highlights its below the cap colorfulness. I’ve also did a bit of snooping to see what others have to share on this one.

20161105_133644

I have dried and stored small amounts of this mushroom in glass jars for many years just to open the jar and enjoy the pleasant aroma which I find uplifting. This year I have a few dried H suaveolens wrapped in paper and tucked in small compartments in my car as an air freshener which I’m surprised my fellow carpoolers haven’t mentioned the improved scent of the old mushroomobile. I suspect these car mushrooms will only hold their pleasant fragrance for a short time though after a month mine are doing quite well.

20161105_141148

These ones above are large mushrooms nearly 20 cm across the cap, the closest one has a conifer twig running through it which always catches my imagination and the next large cap appears to have been a nice table for someone to enjoy a spruce cone brunch comfortably atop.  Although every mycological website and book I’ve checked on the edibility of Hydnellum suaveolens has listed this mushroom as inedible, nevertheless I’ll add this link (not to promote this mushroom as a food) but to acknowledge my own wonderment of what is and a nod to that which will appear on this planet. I suspect the world famous chef who uses H suaveolens does so in extremely small quantities and as an essence and he may also have a secret process involved in this?        https://dannygregorysblog.com/2015/12/28/faviken

 

20161105_141208

H suaveolens is a very solid mushroom which you may think would last several years like some polypores but some of these mushrooms which appeared in late Sept are already decomposing as shown in the top left corner above. I’ll include another link here as there are a few NA and European websites that list Hydnellum suaveolens as a mushroom for dye-makers. This is a subject I have little knowledge on, though I found the colors shown in the linked post well worth sharing with you.  Well that does it for this aromatic, colorful, large and somewhat little known mushroom – Hydnellum suaveolens – which tends to grow where there are still mature mossy conifer forest. ciao    riihivilla.blogspot.com/…/hydnellumsuaveolens-tuoksuorakasvrjys… 

Notice the aroma of fall (2)

7 Oct

20161007_124314

These Lactarius helvus mushrooms caught my eye today, unusual to see them up on a stump like this.  They are another wild mushroom with a sweet aroma which intensifies when dried. These mushrooms are noted for having a number of poisonings reported many decades ago in eastern Europe so best to enjoy their beauty and use them as a potpourri item only.

Kind of fitting as I approached to smell its sweetness, who do I imagine I see, well it sure looks like a green Mr Snuffleupagus to me. Haven’t thought about him in years. He he

Notice the aroma of fall

5 Oct

20160924_161758

Haven’t posted in while as I’ve been busy gathering many of my fall mushroom favorites and enjoying the surrounding. Here in the scent of the sea we see the Bay of Fundy and in the rear view mirror a tall conifer tree which are famous for having nice gifts under them.

Tonight I am showing some of surprises you may encounter while out foraging for the also very scentful Matsutake in thick moss under mature conifers. This one in the above photos is my first meeting with the edible Polyozellus multiplex, quite a showy mushroom with an unusual scent.

This mushroom above I didn’t think to take a photo of in its home in the moss as I was overwhelmed at the time by the sweet scent which filled the air above it. No  local plant or tree in flower can compare with this mushroom as you are apt to suspect someone has just broken a bottle of perfume near by. Next time you smell something like this in your local maritime woods look down and you might see a few of these Hydnellum sauveolens which are not edible but a sweet find just the same.Hope you get a chance to fill your senses with all fall has to offer especially in these mature  mossy conifer areas which unfortunately are becoming rarer as of late. Ciao

 

Maritime Lobster Mushrooms

14 Aug

DSC08073

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

DSC08074

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

DSC08081

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.

DSC08066

DSC08069

DSC08075

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.

DSC08079

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.

DSC08072

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

DSC08084

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

Ciao

August Maritime Mushrooms

1 Aug

DSC08046

Here I am going into a Chanterelle patch.

DSC08048

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.

DSC08045

Next a nice Lobster Mushroom.

DSC08041

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.

DSC08035

DSC08036

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.

DSC08034

DSC08038

DSC08043

DSC08044

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

20160727_100707

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.

20160727_101512

A closer Chanterelle look but still a little groggy.

DSC08007

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

DSC08008

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.

DSC08023

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.

DSC08025

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