I’m putting this topic under ‘technology?’ because I like the way the category blends ‘naturally’ into the rest of the living world. The adapative capabilities of living species are abundantly evident in countless areas, but few are as glorious and weird and fascinating as mushrooms. I went ‘shrooming last weekend in Salt Point State Park on the northern Sonoma County coast with some expert friends. I forgot to bring my camera, dammit, so I only have this photo of one glorious bolete (aka porcini) that we brought all the way home to San Francisco.

This baby weighed in at 8.5 oz. all by itself, and this was but one of about 6 or 7 of these we found (some quite a bit larger). And yes, fresh porcini are just fantastic! If you’re catching the bug (or is it a fungus?) to go mushroom hunting, there’s a nice piece in the Gate today. I grabbed quite a variety of other mushrooms while bushwhacking through the hillsides, but we didn’t find any of the known delicacies, so it was more of an exercise in mycological curiosity. It can be dangerous, of course, so check out some of the resources listed in the links above and below before you go out pickin’ and eatin’…

Meanwhile, discouraged that I didn’t bring my camera so I could share the glorious warm day we had on Dec. 2, the gorgeous forest, the stunning experience of finding huge porcini mushrooms growing wild, and our fantastic afternoon on the utterly calm and warm Stump Beach, I will instead entertain you with a series of photos from my time in the Adirondacks in September. It was the early peak of autumn when I took photos of a number of different mushroom/fungi, none of which I can identify, but anyway, for your mushrooming pleasure:

And if you’re really interested, it’s easy to find sites online with lots of info on how to pick wild mushrooms. We met a number of people on our trek who were doing the same.

1 comment to Mushrooms

  • Biker-X

    Very nice bolete. Boletes are fairly easy to identify correctly, but readers should be warned that not all boletes are edible: when in doubt, best just leave it be.

    A few mushrooming tips:

    -Mushrooms reproduce by spores, which cannot spread around if you collect them in plastic or paper bags. Use a mesh bag to collect your ‘shrooms, and you will spread spores for future seasons as you go.

    -Storage in plastic bags or glass bowls makes mushrooms spoil quickly. They store longest kept cold and dry in a paper bag.

    -Don’t wash your mushrooms until they’re ready to be cooked. A small brush is useful for cleaning off dirt and debris.

    -They can be dried, pickled, canned, or try sauteeing or roasting them, then freezing them to preserve.

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