Sunday, September 25, 2011

More Maitake on the Way

I went back out and met back up with Calvin and then we ran into Mr. Rogers out hiking about before we came upon this tree. I had picked it a few years ago and Mr Rogers picked it last year. It looks like the early trees are just starting.

Plenty of known suspects showing no signs, but these trees usually don't show hens until October.
Looks like it could be a good fall. We just need a little more rain sometime this week.

Here are some photos of some babies that we left behind to grow. I'm hoping to pick them next week if they don't get too dry. I'm thinking the heavy morning dew will keep them going and get a few more started.

Soup's On!!! First Mid-MO Hen of the Woods

Well, I went out this morning to hunt with Calvin, a fellow Mid-MO mushroom hunter from up north. It is always great to meet other hunters and share stories, especially when times are dry. Sometimes, mother nature rewards your persistence and patience and today was no exception.

We first found some puff balls, small gem studded ones. Then we came across a nice chicken log that someone else had gotten to first and made off with some good poundage. They left behind a few nice shelves though, so a pound of chicken went into the bag.

We walked a bit more and out of no where I stumbled across the beauty pictured above. A HEN in September. What luck. About 4 pounds worth all super fresh and all usable and destined for the hearty hen soup I will be serving at the upcoming foray in a few weekends. Back to the woods, but here is one video before I go.

I am not positive but this may be the first hen in MO.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The First Fall Bird

I went out to scout to see if the recent rain had gotten anything going out at Rock Bridge. I was hoping I wouldn't find much which would mean more likelihood of finding mushrooms during the upcoming foray. I checked some chant, trumpet, and hedgehog patches. I even checked a couple of hen trees to see if there are any signs of things to come. Nothing yet.

After only ten minutes on the way to one known hen tree, I came across this and took a few videos. Keep in mind that my main purpose of taking these videos is to entice one complaining Morelin, who has been holed up in a very dry part of Kansas without a mushroom to be found for well over a month. With gas dropping BELOW $3 a gallon for the first time in I don't know how long. I thought these videos featuring one of his favorite mushrooms, the chicken of the woods, just might do the trick.

The find:

A closer look.

Still young so I left it to pick on Sunday.

Morelin, did it work?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fall Mushroom Class and Foray

I know it has been a while since my last post, but it has been a while since the ground around Mid-MO wasn't rock hard from the lack of rain and the heat. It looks like that is starting to change and with the recent rain and cooler weather with nice dewey mornings, there is a good chance that the mushrooms will make one final appearance before winter sets in.

And with fall comes a lot of fungal fun including some of the best edibles, like the hen of the woods (grifola frondosa) and chicken of the woods (Laetiporus sulphereus). So in hopes of finding a few edibles along with learning more about identifying other mushrooms, the newly formed Mid-MO chapter of the Missouri Mycological Society is holding their first foray out at Rock Bridge State Park.

If you need a little inspiration to attend then visit this post from a few years ago about picking 50 pounds in one day. That big one in the photo the size of my backpack was in Rock Bridge. That was taken only 10 days later than the upcoming foray, and with the cool weather, I expect quite a few hens will be flocking about the days of the hunt.

And even if the weather does not cooperate, Brad Bomanz from MOMS will be giving a workshop on identifying common edible mushrooms in MO on Saturday morning, followed by a pot luck lunch in which I promise to bring my own version of the Hearty Hen Soup recipe Maxine listed in her MO Wild Mushrooms book.

Here are the details.
Saturday, October 8 & Sunday, October 9
Mushroom/Fungi Fall Foray
Hosted by Mid-Missouri Chapter of The Missouri Mycological Society
Where: Rockbridge Mills Shelter and the special use camping area in the Gans Creek Wild Area
of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park
For More Info Contact: Stan Hudson:

What to Bring:
• Basket for collecting
• Knife
• Small roll aluminum foil to protect delicate specimen
• Appropriate clothes for the weather
• A dish to share for the pot luck lunch on Saturday
• Water and snacks
• Sunscreen & bug spray

Activities Include:
Speaker MoMS member Brad Bomanz Saturday at 10 am (ROCKBRIDGE MILLS SHELTER)
• Potluck lunch at noon (ROCKBRIDGE MILLS SHELTER)
• Foray for mushrooms in the park 1 pm Saturday and 10 am Sunday (SPECIAL USE CAMP)
• Identification tips from seasoned veterans Located at the Special Use Area of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park

Directions to the special use camp can be found on the MOMS website.

I hope to see you there.