What an Unusual season it has been.
I have to say, that in looking back over the last several years, this mushrooming season has been the worst I can remember.
I looking back at some of my Facebook posts and complaints I had made about pickings being “poor” in previous years, none of them compare to what it was like for me Sunday.
On Sunday, we had a group foray with 16 of us out in the woods looking for that bonanza flush of edibles. There were no great finds, I will admit that it was the best foray for diversity that we have had this season.
We found chanterelles, Boletes, Gypsies, several dyer polypores;
numerous Russulas; many cortinarius( as is the norm); a few good examples of Smith’s Amanita (the one often mistaken for the pine mushroom each year); a few lactarius deliciosus, and by one of our members a nice flush of pine mushrooms.
There was enough of pine mushrooms for everyone to take some home and have a taste, which was very generous of those who found them.
With high expectation, due to the success of the day before, I decide to visit one of my secret sites where I often find pines. I was totally disappointed with the foray. All I was able to find was one lactarius deliciousus, one small chanterelle and not one pine!!! Not only that, there was nary a whiff of a pine in the area.
For those of you who haven’t met me, I have a very good nose. My wife often asks me to sniff test something that has been in the fridge a bit too long. Often, when we are out walking down the street, near a restaurant, I am sniffing the air, checking out the cooking aromas. She says I was a dog or a wolf in my last life, I just love smells, good or bad.
Sometimes, while sitting there, I catch a whiff of something, and I will look at my wife. She gives me the hairy eyeball saying “ so I farted…..get over it”.
As a result of the “nose” I can often smell the pines long before I actually see them. When I am walking down the trail, scanning the forest floor and breathing deeply, that whiff lets me know to start searching around for those “shrumps”…pines hidden under the duff or moss.
However, Monday, not a whiff, nada, zilch…and things were still pretty dry where my pine spot was.
Rain is due for the next several days, even the possibility of snow. I am ever hopeful that there will still be a season, even a late(r) season. Also, there is still to come the incredible abundance of winter chanterelles and hedgehogs that we usually see late in the season.
As always, hope to see you sometimes on the trails out there. And thanks to Hagit Ammer
Nutritional Chef & Educator @http://www.kitchenrejuvenation.ca/ for some of her pictures in this post.