Ever since that downpour we had during the summer and the subsequent gift of finding fall Chanterelles in July, I have counted down after each rainstorm. The rule of thumb for mushrooms to grow is that the ground needs a good soaking and in about 10 days after the rain, the mushrooms should appear if all the other conditions are right.
Each rainstorm we have had since that first small spattering of woodland delicacies, I can be seen x-ing off the days on the calendar and trekking out into the woods with my bucket and mushroom knife.
It has only been hit and miss so far. The ground is still pretty dry under the dense stand of tall fir trees, that is until this week. We have had a series of days where we have gotten more than an inch of rain, so it was time to head out and see what the woods has to offer.
The very first patch I headed to gave me hope, I found new growth. As you can see from the pictures, they are very small, it was hard to find them in the carpet of dead fir needles.
I spent the next hour moving from one known patch sight to another, but the woods have just not started to produce much of the fungus yet.
This was the total for my efforts. The mushrooms themselves are still very dry and brittle, and they don’t show their shiny orange brilliance the way they will when they are full of water.
To make the best of things, I divided these few into several different dinners. Chicken and mushroom pizza, diced into a pasta sauce, and hunks mixed in a white gravy to serve over chicken fried steak. All that did was whet my appetite for the delicious flavor of wild mushrooms.
With more moisture moving into the area this week, and as long as we don’t get a killing frost in the meantime, the mushrooms will be in full bloom soon. So I’m back to the count; 10, 9, 8…