I was helping Mike fall a large hemlock tree by carrying the axe and four wedges to the base of the tree before the sawing commenced when a bit of yellow color caught my eye.
Whoopie! I thought to myself, the first Chanterelle had popped up. Mike noticed that I was not paying any attention to my duties and looked at the yellow spot. He knew instantly that it was not a delicious mushroom immediately and he was several yards away. The color just wasn’t right. I wanted to examine it closer just to make sure and when I pulled the foliage away saw a large specimen pretty close.
Once I lifted it out of the Oregon Grape and wild blackberry vines, I too could see that not only was the color quite right, the fins did not run down the stem and the stem itself was not Chanterelle characteristics.
I broke it open to find a very spongy middle, another sure sign of a fake-a-roo. Disappointed but sure was glad that I confirmed the imposter before I tried making a meal out of it.
Within a couple days, I did find the gold of the forest that I have been on the lookout for. The first Chanterelle was hiding in the protected cuff of an old-growth fir tree stump and was just barely popping out of the duff.
The yellow was definitely the perfect color with the outside a lighter orange. The fins ran right down the stem and the root pulled away from the dirt and cast off needles perfectly.
Some are already so large they would not be considered prime or #1’s, but they are perfectly acceptable to cook and eat. The bounty has begun.