Mushroom drought

This drought. It is not just the corn. It is not just the trees.

I have no pictures from my recent reconnaissance at Picnic Point. If I did, you might weep.

I know of a stump right next to the trail which, for the past two years, has overflowed with honey mushrooms and maitakes. Nearby are several trees which have been reliable sources for more maitake than most enthusiasts could even fit in the freezer.

What I saw on this trip was a single bloom of maitake, as brittle as crackers; a couple sparse bunches of honeys, already too old. Hard to imagine that honeys are some of the biggest organisms on the planet, looking at these sorry specimens. Some of them had been taken. Normally I’d pout, but in this case I was glad that someone had gotten something.

I have never seen a fall this dry.

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3 responses to “Mushroom drought

  1. Beautiful writing. I love the opening to your second-to-last graph. I had hoped rain came to Madison in my absence, but sounds like not. Greetings from Sacto, which was unseasonably hot for days, apparently.

  2. I felt the same sorrow upon visiting my chanterelle honey hole on the north shore of Lake Superior in September – just four dried up little golden goblets. I fried them anyway and reminisced about more fruitful northern autumns. Chicken of the woods and oysters though, now that’s another story…

  3. Hi, I found your blog by googling mushrooms and Madison. Do you know of any local resources for mushroom identification? I have a nice crop of what I think are oysters growing on a maple stump at my house. I am 99% sure based on what I have found on the web. They look right and we even did a spore print but I would like to be positive. Thanks!

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