Red cap boletus mushroom

Red cap boletus mushroom

Last night I faithfully scribbled down all the day’s photos.  Which, as you can ascertain, involved a wild mushroom hunt.  HOWEVER, just as I prepared to upload the first photograph (the above photograph, in case you’re interested), WordPress revolted.

On not just one of my computers, but on both.  It was a high tension moment!  I have a commitment, you know.  To post this blog for 365 days.  And I have made it for…let me check…262 days.  The computer(s) have been extremely cooperative, up to now.  But last night they start hiccuping and carrying on and refusing to allow simple posting.

What to do?  Call your backup force.  That means my daughter in New York City.  (And hopefully everyone has viewed yesterday’s blog to which she so delightfully contributed.)  My son was coming back from a hike in the California mountains north of San Francisco, so he was obviously not available.  But Kiah has “stood ready” before and this time she more than cooperated with rescuing her mama the creation of an outdoor blog.

Baby puffballs

Baby puffballs

What I was actually doing for several hours yesterday was…stalking zee wild mushroom.  I am not capable of this by myself.  Am too afraid of poisoning us.  But, with the invitation from a friend, I was able to drive around an extended area on her four-wheeler and find dozens and dozens of wild mushrooms.  Most notably the best-eating Boletus Edulis (also known as the King Boletus or King Bolete as she referred to the beauty.)  But also the Red-Cap Boletus (birch boletus) and the Suillus.

A rather large boletus edulis in foreground; basket full of 'shrooms behind!

A rather large boletus edulis in foreground; basket full of 'shrooms behind!

Unfortunately, I cannot reveal the name of this kind friend.  Or where the mushrooms were found.  Sorry.  You know how it is.  True mushroom folks won’t tell anything.  They dare not.  Two dozen local folks would show up at their door (or, worse yet,  follow them to the mushroom grounds!) if they share.  So it’s all incognito.

You get used to this when you’re talking about stalking zee wild mushroom.

Wild asters, close up

Wild asters, close up

My anonymous friend said that you can always tell when the mushrooms are ready to be harvested.  Two signs:  one, the wild asters are blooming.  Two, the blackberries are ripening black and juicy on the brambles.  Then it’s time.  Although some years, it’s in early September.  Other years, October.

The ‘shrooms like rain.  They explode in size after a good rain.  And this year, apparently, is perfect.  My friend couldn’t stop exclaiming at the large numbers of mushrooms in places she’s never seen ’em before.  (And I can attest to this!  Last summer I traveled with her on a mushroom hunt.  We came back with maybe a dozen mushrooms, if that.  This year we carried out dozens upon dozens.)

Underside of "Angel of Death" mushroom.  Do not eat.

Underside of "Angel of Death" mushroom. Do not eat.

See the above mushroom?  I turned it over, briefly touching it, after my friend said, “You may not want  touch that one.”  Yikes!!  I spent the last hour feeling rather nervous, hoping the poisonous juices didn’t travel through the skin and result in a hospital trip. She graphically described a slow and painful death after eating this particular mushroom…

I do have a healthy respect for mushrooms, you see.  Do NOT want to touch.  Do NOT want to eat.  Do NOT want to harvest any, unless this expert friend is at my side, sharing her wisdom.

Half our booty near red geraniums

Half our booty near red geraniums

Actually, it’s good that this blog was not posted ’til tonight.  Because we ate our first dish of mushrooms sauteed in olive oil. Oh my goodness.  They were so good.  Incredibly delicious.  You could never compare them to the store-bought white button mushrooms.  Ever. 

And, you will be happy to know, we are both feeling fine!  Chipper!  Not sick.  (At least not yet.)Thank goodness for friends who have taken classes in the fine art of wild mushrooming.  And who have hunted wild mushrooms for at least a dozen years.

(She thinks I’m going to try to find mushrooms around our house and harvest them!  I don’t think so…not without her holding my hand…)

P.S.  today I did work out on the deck and ate out on the deck and talked to my husband on the deck.  That’s all!

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