Mushroom Obsession RSS

The weather was originally forecast to be dry and sunny on Saturday. So we planned a foray. Last year, we were hunting into mid-November, when the weather finally turned cold and rainy (then snowy). We typically hunt at the 2,000-3,000 foot elevation on the southwestern slopes of Mt. Rainier, in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. We have a spot where we find a wide variety of nice fall mushrooms. Streams run through it, and the rainforest is typically quite damp. It's not always the easiest hiking, but it is beautiful, and we enjoy the hike regardless of what we find...

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Calvatia gigantea, Puffball Mushrooms -

Several years ago, we found some Giant Puffball mushrooms growing on my daughter's farm in Pennsylvania. They were the size of small beachballs, and I was very excited to find them ... but disappointed when, upon slicing them open, we discovered that they had gone to spore. They were a disgusting, yellow-green, custardy consistency on the inside, instead of the firm white meat of a Giant Puffball (Calvatia gigantea, or "huge head") in its early, edible stage. But my appetite was whet. I've been reading up on Giant Puffballs, and how to prepare them, and this year when we returned...

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Mushrooms are now to be had in the forests near Mt. Rainier. (Not in the national park, unfortunately ... you can't hunt there. But in the national forests like Gifford Pinchot, learn the licensing and hunting regulations and get out there!) I haven't yet visited outlying areas (like Tiger Mountain, where I frequently hunt Chanterelles and Sulfur Shelf; or the Olympic Peninsula), but I've heard reports that they are going well in these places too.(Photo at left: It's hard to take time for a lunch break while surrounded by mushrooms!) Thanks to abundant rains, a wide variety of very interesting...

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Okay, it's September. The time of year when, at least here in the Great Northwet, the forest floors are usually crawling with Chanterelles. But, we're in the midst of a drought. We had the longest rain-free period on record this summer, broken only late last week by a fine spitty smattering of rain. So little, you could barely call it rain. I'd been out on a foray a few weeks earlier, and found some Chanterelles struggling to survive in the dry forest. So, my hopes were lit at even at that pathetic little pinch of precipitation, thinking perhaps it might...

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Lobster Mushroom, lobsters -

When I suggest to people that we are heading out to hunt Lobsters, I get a lot of raised eyebrows. "I thought you were into mushrooms?" they say. "Are you switching over to seafood now?" No, I assure them. While I do like seafood — a lot, and crabbing is one of my favorite things — of course I'm speaking of Lobster mushrooms, which is the vegetarian equivalent of the tasty crustacean. And there's lots of good news here ... the first is, you don't need to get wet (well, at least not very wet) to hunt them. The second...

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