Every year for some reason or another we have missed our local Fungus Festival. Oh how I have wanted to go, and not because I am in love with the taste of mushrooms. I just love being in the woods, and mushroom identification has always had a pull on me. Why? I don't know. There is just something enchanting about being in the depths of an old growth forest...and the mushrooms are there. Eoghan and I went on our first mushroom foray on September 9th (led by a very jovial local biologist), with a bunch of really great people, and not all local by far. While in the forest we were shown how to cut them, and how much to take. I could tell that everyone who was with us could be happily lost (not literally) in the woods for hours. Eoghan was in his element, I actually have never seen him more so. If he does not grow up to be some kind of scientist, my mind will be boggled.
At the identification tables, before heading out into the field. A Cortinarius (Can you see what looks like web underneath?) My friend Dotty's favorite. Not edible.
Now in the field, with one very inedible Amanita also known as a Death Cap.
The Winter Chanterelle. Edible. Looks like it has wrinkles on the underside instead of gills. Also known as a Yellow Foot.
Eoghan found these, they are called, Bird's Nest Fungus. Edible???
Eoghan found these as well. Angels' Wings. Edible.
Chicken of the Woods. Edible.
Our favorite that day, and what we collected the most of, a Hedgehog. Edible. It has what looks to be prickles hanging down instead of gills.We were told it tasted very good cooked with sour cream.
A fun guy!
A King Bolete. Edible, but not many around; they also tend to have bugs in them, which can be cut out.
The Hedgehogs I cooked up in a Stroganoff, the Angels' Wings and the Winter Chanterelle, I sauteed in butter for tasting.
P.S. Please do not take a look at these pictures and go out and forage for mushrooms if you do not have an expert with you. Just had to say this, just in case.