Do You Think the Season is Over?

That is the question…is this it for the mushroom season?  We are just warming up from the second spell of some cold and frosty days and nights, as well as snow in some areas here on the coast.

Last Saturday a few of us hardy or should I say Fool-hardy souls went out for a foray in the Home Site Creek area, but alas, there was little to be seen.  The reason was that there was just a touch too much snow to see what was hiding in the moss. Oh we did find a couple of examples, a few hardy winter chaterelles, some very frozen russula’s and a lacaria or two. After an hour or so we called it quits and headed back to the warmth of Cooper’s Green community hall.

Luckily, I had gone out last Friday, in anticipation that it could be my last foray before the coming frost wiped out the last of the edibles.  Sure enough I found a nice patch of hedgehogs and a good bunch of winter Chanterelles.

Friday finds

All in all, not that bad a  year, as I looked at what I had put aside for the long winter, spring and summer until next falls mushrooming begins again…

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From the left, this years total harvest; my gallon jar full of winter chanterelles; next to that my dried pines in a two quart jar and then the last on the right, this years honey mushrooms.

Now at least half of these will be going to family and friends as Christmas gifts, as well as likely another good batch to be eaten over the holidays. Besides these dried ones, I also have a number of cooked and frozen packages of mushrooms from this year’s season. So really, even though we complained that this was not a good year, I did get my share and should have enough to last me through the lean times!

The other thing I forgot to mention was that I found a beautiful flush of Turkey tails about a week ago..

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I called this the “medicine tree”…nature giving us the medicine we need just as we head into the winter season of colds and flu. I picked about a quarter of what was on the tree, as many were small.  Hopefully I can keep going back over the winter and getting some fresh.  The ones I picked I let dry overnight then froze them for later use in teas and tinctures.

But don’t despair, the thaw is happening today and there may still be a few flushes of winter chanterelles to come.

The days are shortening and

soon  upon us the Winter Solstice

time to celebrate will food and wine

with laughter and joy and gift giving too

to brighten with lights the long dark nights

and celebrate the birth of the sun once more,

Happy Solstice, happy yule, merry Christmas to you all.

Hope to see you sometimes on the trail next year…coastal shroomer.

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