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A litter of Cats

18 Oct

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Only found one small area of Catathelasma ventricosum today which was more than OK as I was on another mission, but with bright caps up to 20 cm across these mushrooms certainly stand out from a distance as you may notice above.

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This was an unexpected find of Cats which will send me asap to some of my more familiar haunts of this large fall mushroom which I had already given up on this year as only a few appeared several weeks ago.

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Although I usually dry most of what I gather of this mushroom, this has been the year of the pickle for me and these mushroom should be excellent for that process.

 

Sweet Home Tricholoma

17 Oct

 

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Interesting den like structure which should provide sleeping space for 3 appears on this steep decline, the opening is facing straight up and shortly beyond it seems the hill drops straight down a few hundred feet, even though many conifers have managed to hang in there, not to far away on flat lowlands amongst the conifers I start to see some of my favorite Tricholoma mushrooms again, though unfortunately their season is coming to an end soon, maybe if all goes well some of these areas will not fall to a clear cut before my next visit in 2016.

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Have a look at another mushroom which may be mistaken for a Matsutake, this one is Tricholoma focale which is not rated very highly as an edible in most countries, though I have seem claim that it is pretty good when preserved in certain ways, ( I’ll get back to you on this one shhh), I usually only see these in disturbed soils or thin moss, commonly seen here near the coast at a small size of 5 cm, though here are some big ones with 15 cm caps.

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A few Maritime Matsutake ( Tricholoma magnivelare ) possibly to be renamed down the road.

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and the long and slim one, Tricholoma dulciolens, well this is probably it for me and these Tricholoma mushrooms for this year, next up should be Honeys, Oysters and as usual, plenty of surprises. ciao

 

Tricholoma dulciolens

11 Oct

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A few pics of T dulciolens which was my long skinny version of Matsutake for many a year.

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Currently there is a question on whether these mushrooms have been exported from one of the Nordic countries to Japan as a Matsutake type produce, as Henrik in his comments below and other sources point out Tricholoma dulciolens is very rare in Scandinavia and probably in Finland as well so still curious on the link I added in comments below which makes the claim of T dulciolens being an imported item in Japan. I guess the good news for us folks here in the Maritimes is our mature spruce in a few different soil types usually in our near wetlands do produce some of these mushrooms, though here as well they seem a mushroom which would not be near common enough for a commercial harvest at least from what I have investigated thus far.

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Usually when gathering you will only see the caps and then it is time to gently lift in agreement with the stem’s underground angle, notice a few are left as they are, very unwise to attempt to take all of anything.

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In the deep moss there may be some of these and also the Matsutake below the green surface so walk soft, don’t walk directly to the mushroom you see, plan a path of least disturbance, all foods deserve our respect and this group almost seem to demand all your senses be fully awake and in tune.

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Added photos of rare Maritime Lyophyllum  _____? in spruce forest

Maritime Matsutake mix-upables

5 Oct

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Here is a look at the first Matsutake I found this year, a few folks at the NS Foray were curious about the Matsutake so here are some photos to help a bit. I myself need to catch up on what is going on and change the photos in my White Matsutake page as there have been some name changes with some more big ones not far off.

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I for many years called this mushroom in the above photos also White Matsutake though I kinda suspected it was more likely a  Tricholoma Caligatum which was growing under spruce and smelled and tasted very much little Matsutake and made a great spicy tea when dried and boiled with Chaga and then cream added. This mushroom can sometimes have a very long slim stem which usually lifts easily from the moss or soil, unlike the Matsutake who puts up quite a battle. This mushroom seems to match an already named mushroom from the conifer forest of northern Europe know as Tricholoma dulciolens, so time to move some photos and change to the current names.

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Next a mushroom most folks are unfamiliar with in the Maritimes though it is common in the western Canada and also parts of Asia. This big brown capped mushroom is often mistaken for a Matsutake so since I have one here, check out the Imperial Cat – Catathelasma imperiale which is not considered an edible mushroom in some NA field guides, though its close relative the grey capped Catathelasma ventricosum is know to be a good edible and far more common in the east than the Imperial Cat.

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Here are the 3  brownish capped Matsutake-like mushrooms together which will give you Maritimers interested in gathering the Matsutake a better idea on what is out there. The real Matsutake is the middle mushroom in both photos.

NS Mycological Society Foray 2015

17 Sep

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The annual Nova Scotia mushroom foray is not far off, so here is small plug for the event and a chance to show a few of the many mushrooms you may find on one of the trails on Saturday Sept 26th during that weekend. There are usually a few surprises with new additions being placed on their species list every year and the pic above of some Slippery Jill ( Suillus salmonicolor ) which  I found recently in my area would make the list for the first time if found during one of the trail walks. Here is their website address if you’re a Maritimer and fancy a foray this early fall. – ns.mushroom.org

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Another interesting mushroom I noticed in recent days were these tiny though oh so garlicky smelling little ones which may have been more out spoken due to the dampness that day as these had a strong and very pleasant fresh garlic scent. At first I thought they were Gymnopus perforans  though they in my experience are quite mild compared to what I’ve found here which maybe – or – are a close kin to Mycetinis scorodonius a mushroom I have some culinary interest in and it also would be a newbie on the NSMS species list and should catch many of guard long before you squint to see these bad boys on one of the identification tables folks will be viewing as each trail group will set up their own table for everyone to check out, not doubt this is a common Maritime mushroom which due to its tiny size doesn’t get gathered very often.

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I should mention some of the pleasant visuals you will no doubt encounter along the way like this Reishi mushroom relative which being as beautiful and useful in nature as it is, naturally was given a common name  by man – here you see Artist Conk ( Ganoderma applanatum) with a nice shiny cap on a wet one a few days back.

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Here are a couple more recent Maritime colorful mushroom pics of what you may find at the foray, don’t make me show or tell you anymore about the great things you’ll experience at the foray just go to their website and make plans for some new discoveries the weekend of Sept 25 -26-27 at the Deanery in Ship Harbour, Nova Scotia. ciao

 

Marinated Lobster mushrooms

16 Sep

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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 ( honest-food.net — 17) check it out, I’ve tried this recipe with Russula mustelina and Lobster mushrooms last month and they both turned out great.

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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

Hemileccinum subglabripes

28 Jul

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This is the same small bolete I’ve seen in good numbers most summers for the last 40 years usually on edges of mixed forest pathways with plenty of birch and poplar in the mix. The cap is brown, pore surface yellow, stem initially yellow and flesh usually whitish yellow. This mushroom does not turn blue when cut and the pore surface does not turn orange or red. The stem does eventually blush red.

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It has gone through some name changes over the years being mostly listed as a Boletus or Leccinum though I kind of like this new name as it just didn’t seem to fit into those other names very well.

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The best ones for eating are the very young mushrooms like these here in the photos, usually by the time the yellow stem is blushing red the cap is thin and the pore surface should be removed, best use at that time is to dry for winter soups by letting the flavour of the dried mushroom develop for a few months.

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If you are 100% sure of your identification of this common Maritime mushroom and decide to give it a try as an edible I suggest you discard the solid somewhat tough stem which are similar to the Leccinum mushrooms stems and only eat a few caps (well cooked) pan fried till a crisp brown, the taste is a little lemony, quite good. The dried mushrooms are top notch as well. This is a mushroom I’ve never specifically gone out to gather though usually end up gathering a good supply while Chanterelling during the summer months. ciao

Mid-December meltdown

16 Dec

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It took over 100 mm of rain, but now most forest areas in my neck of the woods are soggy and snow free. There are a few edible mushrooms I’ve gathered this late in the year before, being mostly oyster types and Hygrophorus mushrooms, but none of those around today.

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I’ve heard that the Tree-ear mushrooms may appear anytime there is a good amount of rain so I revisited an area I found this summer and yes here they are on the same downed balsam fir trees from earlier in the year.

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These are Auricularia americana which are a new edible to me and I have only tried them a few ways so far, usually these mushrooms are always cut into thin strips, stewed slowly in milk they were quite good. These mushroom dry and reconstitute very well and some of its relatives are commercially grown in large numbers for use as an edible and medicinal mushroom. Auricularia americana probably does not possess the same blood thinning properties as Auricularia polytricha used in Szechwan cooking and is considered more akin to Auricularia auricularia used in Cantonese cooking. These mushrooms absorb other flavours and their crunchy texture is very appealing.

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Here is a nicely covered conifer tree from this summer which I should have marked down its location. It would have been a nice place to look today.

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Now this is a common mushroom found on conifers from late fall through the winter, Orange Jelly mushroom (Darcymyces chrysospermus).

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These are a colorful edible which I’ll be tinkering with in the kitchen this winter. Anyone have any suggestions?

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I know he doesn’t look to awe inspiring in the photo, but this is a large hawk who let me walk within 40 feet to take a phone pic on the way back to town. Click the photo to enlarge and check out the tree branches along the way. 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