Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Screw Christmas. Take a hike, Santa Claus. It's the shank of summer, and Great Nature has begun to bestow upon us her most splendid gifts--chanterelles, black trumpets. Now we'll look for puffballs, hen of the woods, tooth mushrooms. It's the most wonderful time of the year.

The forest floor is just rife with fungi, edible, and not, all remarkably beautiful. Even if you only want to make a photo safari, it's a great time of year to head for the woods. Though there are mosquitoes. And watch out for the nettles--nasty.

More fungal fun to follow. I owe Nate--tweets as homebrewer--and
Martha and Tom thanks for tipping me off to the early fruiting; I usually start to look for chanterelles in early August. From now on, in a wet July, I'll take Bastille Day to mean, Cherchez les girolles!

Golden, gregarious, glorious:

Text and photos copyright 2010 by Brett Laidlaw


Fred said...


Rob said...

Lovely! Fungi certainly are quite varied and interesting; fun to photo-shoot.

I came across a vibrant orange fungi and was told it is called chicken of the woods. If I may, here is what we found late June at a local regional park.

I was told it tastes like chicken.

ESP said...

Hi, been a while!

What great shots of the fungi, they are all so different in form and color...very architectural! I think some of these would make great, futuristic housing and hi-rise designs! They really would!

The earlier trout chowder, well, that one we WILL be trying in the Patch.


Trout Caviar said...

Mr Fred: You said it.

Mr Rob: The 'shrooms this time of year really are fun to shoot--but it's a challenge holding the camera steady while you're being devoured by mosquitoes! Your photo does indeed appear to be the "chicken of the woods," or "sulfur shelf" mushroom. It's definitely edible, if you get it when it's very young; however, I've never been able to make it palatable. No matter what I've done with it, I always find it retains an unpleasantly fibrous texture. If anyone has any tips for making the sulfur shelf delicious, please let me know!

ESP: Yeah, some of those black trumpets are absolutely Gehry-esque. Is there any other category in nature, be it fruit, fish, animal, tree, vegetable, etc., that takes on as many wildly various forms as mushrooms?

Nice to hear from you; hope all is well in the patch.

Cheers, all~ Brett