Thursday, June 4, 2015

(AF) MUSHROOMS, MY NEW FASCINATION!

Ear Mushroom
 Ever since I was a little girl, I was absolutely fascinated with mushrooms. I LOVED the mushrooms we occasionally splurged on at the store, both fresh and canned. I loved them so much I could have eaten them every day!

Then I started noticing mushrooms growing around the yard during wet spells. I would ask my parents about them, eagerly hoping I could eat some of them. I was always told that some could be eaten, but some were deadly poisonous, so unless you were an expert, you had to leave them all alone or you would end up dying. Well, as a little kid, that was enough for me! But I was still fascinated by them so I just admired them at an arms length distance.

As I got older, I became more curious. I started thinking I might want to try learning about them. Not become an expert, but at least maybe learn about one or two that I could identify easily and eat. Then I saw an article on the news where a man just walking along had kicked a mushroom and the spores that flew up were so toxic that he died from breathing them in. So that turned me back off of my mushroom interest and even instilled yet more intense fear of mushrooms in me.

But last year, we had a much damper year than usual (following a long drought) and mushrooms of all kinds were popping up everywhere! Many of them were absolutely fascinating! Last Fall, after two HUGE flushes of yummy looking mushrooms on a couple of my trees, just outside my office window, I decided I HAD to know what they were! Another flush came out and I ran out and took pictures from every angle I could. Then I joined a mushroom identifying group and soon learned that they were Oyster Mushrooms!! Oh, how yummy they were! I cooked them in everything and even made mushrooms chips out of them.

I am still kicking myself for missing those first two ENORMOUS flushes on those 2 trees. They were enough to have probably lasted 3 families an entire year. But, on the other hand, I do know now, and it was those mushrooms that gave me the push to actively start learning about wild mushrooms and trying some of them.

Now, I seemed to have turned into a Mushroom Maniac! Seems I can't walk across the yard without looking for mushrooms. I find myself looking over every stick before I toss it in the fire. And right now, it has been such a wet Spring that pretty much every stick you pick up has mushrooms on it.

My latest adventure in mushrooms is to determine if a bunch of these that are prolific right now are Turkey Tail mushrooms. I am really anxious to find out! If you have a clue or idea as to what type the mushrooms in the banner pic (at the top of the page) are, we would love to hear from you.  No, we won't use it as an absolute positive ID, but we would love to hear what your opinions on the  variety are.

Thank you for reading our blog and have a fantastic day!

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