We are not alone….they are out there

Wasn’t that a great bit of rain we had this weekend? A bit of rain on Friday and then a really nice soaking on Sunday morning.

The garden and our shrubs just perked right up, but the only thing was we could have used a couple of more days of that to really get down deep into the soil.

Ever optimistic, I decided to take a stroll out in the woods to see how much rain made it to the fortes floor.  To be totally honest, I wanted to see if there may be something from the Kingdom Fungi , other than polypores, poking their heads up.

Off I went to one of my Favorited foray areas, and sure enough the trail was damp, the moss had plumped up and didn’t crackle like rice crispies,   I was not more than 5 minutes on the trail when in a low spot, under a ridge over a small trickle of a stream I saw it.  A lovely Russula WP_20150726_13_29_00_Pro

This I said to myself was a good sign. Even in the drought, give the forest floor a bit of moisture and things start to happen.. On I continued, my eyes ever scanning the forest floor to the left and to the right, to the left and the right, like one of those Cylones from that TV series Battlestar Galactica.

Sure enough, I see something on my left, buff in colour, just poking up through the fir needles…I bend down closer and touch the small bump.  It is firm and not a leaf.  I kneel down next to it and brush away the duff and see a white stem…I lean in and give it a sniff and catch that sweet, fruity, apricot aroma. I take my knife out of it’s sheath and gently push it down beside the stem, going an inch or more below the cap and press it into the stem and slice through.  I raise it slowly to my nose and sniff the freshly cut stem while also looking at the underside of the cap.  No pores, no gills just folds.  It’s my first Chanterelle of the season! Lovely!WP_20150726_13_51_12_Pro

Its the earliest I have ever found some, but it wasn’t to be my last either.

A bit further down the trail, I came upon a cavity where it looked like a rock had been removed or someone had excavated the area for gravel to add to the trail.  I saw a while stump with a bit of a cap still attached.  I crouched down and took a closer look and sure enough it was what I thought it was….a hedge hog, mostly consumed by either a slug or squirrel.WP_20150726_13_40_09_Pro

On I trekked, wondering what else I would find.

I came across more chanterells,and then a tree loaded with oyster mushrooms.  Now the oyster mushrooms where a few days beyond anyone except flies and slugs. Had I been on the trail 3 or 4 days earlier  I would have found them in prime condition.WP_20150726_14_02_27_Pro WP_20150726_14_04_10_Pro

So there you have it….in the middle of one of the driest spring and summers on record, after one reasonably good rain and up pop the mushrooms.

I didn’t get pounds and pounds of Chanterelles, but enough for a bit on toast…WP_20150726_15_08_01_Pro

Oh, and for those of you who may know where I go-a-wandering, stay out of my patch!!!

This time I hope not to see you on the trails ( at least not where I go) sometimes,


In the Middle of a Long Hot Drought

Yes, we are in the middle of a long hot drought…not much snow this winter, very little precipitation this spring and summer, but also not many ideas working their way onto the page from me.  Maybe my ideas are tied to the rains….for example today we had a bit of rain and here I am pecking away at the laptop. Also when I look back over the last year, it seems that many of my posts spontaneously spring from my fingers like mushrooms after the rains. Could that mean that maybe I too respond to rain in the same way as the objects of my desire do? Am I a new subspecies of human…homo-fungi-sapiens?

Or could it just be that when it rains, I can take a break from watering the garden, cutting the grass, pulling weeds, painting the fence or just  being outside, down on the beach, enjoying the sun?

What ever the reason, its good to be back here on the page, pouring out my thoughts and ideas.

All joking aside, it has been a very dry year and we are at stage three water restrictions that may soon be at stage four, if we don’t get a signification rain event soon.  The experts tell us we need at least 3 consecutive days of 30-40 millimeters of rain to refill the reservoir. Lets hope we get that soon.

For those of you who don’t live in BC, so far this has been one the worst wildfire seasons ever with more fires reported every day.We had a fire up here just a couple of kilometers out of Sechelt that burned up 400 to 500 hectares of forest.  There was also one fatality during the fire fighting.  A local faller who was helping to fight the fire died when a fire weakened tree fell and crushed him. Our community was very saddened by his untimely and unfortunate death. There was a great tribute to him last weekend in Gibson, with over 800 mourners attending the celebration of his life.

The fire is now out, but it was a very scary and smoky period of a couple of weeks. One Sunday morning I woke about 6 am, I was dreaming about having a smoke ( which I haven’t had in more than 15 years) and as I opened my eyes, my room was bathed in this incredible red glow  It was like I was on an alien world, under a hot and oppressive red sun. I got out of bed and looked through the blinds to an incredible red sunrise, smoke hanging low in the sky and ash drifting down like snow. Some one described it as apocalyptic.  I think that was a very appropriate metaphor.

This picture is close but doesn’t do justice to the realityWP_20150706_09_04_01_Pro

On my walks in the area this summer, I have seen nary a fungal flower anywhere.  It is the height of summer and usually we don’t see very much, but the trees do look dry and thirsty and some are even dying as a result of these repeated droughts.  There are predictions that this will be the trend for the next several years here on the coast.

Other areas of the province are getting rain, so I may need to expand my search area to interior regions. On a positive note, the burn area just west of Sechelt should have a good potential for morels next spring!.

After this little bit of rain who knows what may pop up, so it’s off into the woods I go, hi ho, hi ho.

Hope to see you on the trails some time Coastal Shroomer.