Last summer was my first summer learning about and hunting mushrooms. What I didn’t know at the time was that it was a special summer, filled with rain and mushrooms. This summer has been extremely dry, which has resulted in almost no mushrooms. We have finally started getting some rain here and there and you can practically hear the mushrooms bursting out of the ground. City trees have reishi mushrooms popping out of their trunks and various mushrooms are peeking out of the mulch.
We went up to the Berkshires this weekend and were able to get in a short hike. I found 2 different trees with bright orange chicken of the woods mushrooms growing on them. These are delicious mushrooms that have the taste and consistency of chicken breast. Unfortunately the ones I found were just past their prime, so we didn’t pick them. It’s very, very hard to leave a choice edible mushroom behind, but you can get sick from eating an old mushroom.
We left our hike empty handed, but on the drive back to Neil’s parent’s house, I wanted to stop and look at a tree I noticed on our drive to the hike. Sure enough, it was covered with lovely oyster mushrooms. There were many that were past, but we were able to harvest a pound of nice, fresh ones.