Well, after some pretty impressive downpours on Tuesday afternoon, it rained all night and then some more in the morning just for good measure. When I stepped outside, here’s what I found: chanterelles! So many of them! Little red ones! Big orange ones! They’re popping up by the dozen all over the woods around here. I didn’t get the opportunity to range far from my house, but here’s what I saw within a couple hundred yards or so of my back door:
The cinnibar red chanterelles are not very big, but they are so incredibly prolific right now that it’s worth the effort to reach down with a knife and slice off the largest of the lot.
As we ventured up through the creek, we discovered numerous springs in the side of the creekbed where cold clear rainwater came trickling out of underground grottoes. Sami was especially fascinated by these subterranean ‘rivers.’
As we explored, we found many of these little jelly mushrooms, which according to various guidebooks are called ochre club fungi, jelly cap, or just jelly babies. I think I like “jelly babies” the best. Like many of the gelatinous mushrooms, they fall into the broad category of mushrooms that are technically edible, but reportedly without much taste, and I’m certainly not too tempted to try them.
When I got home, I cleaned off the day’s pickings. Not bad, considering I never went more than a couple hundred yards from my door, and spent more time splashing around in the creek than actively searching for chanterelles. Such beautiful, tasty treats!