Saturday, November 30, 2013

Perfect our shrooming

We arrived in Brookings, Oregon five days ago..continuing our journey south.

We planned on camping at the Elks lodge campsite which is on a hill not far from downtown Brookings…not especially scenic..blacktop parking lot.

While driving around town on arrival we checked out Harris Beach State Park campground.

It was lovely and wooded and there were a few sites with amazing views of the ocean and towering rock formations. We assumed we had no chance to acquire one of these sites on this busy Thanksgiving week.

I tried to reserve a site online that evening with no luck..most sites were not reservable and the ones that were available were not available for four nights in a row.

Soo…the next morning we decided to take a drive to see if we might get lucky.

As we arrived we saw a motorhome leaving one of the sites with an ok view of the ocean….then, Jeff noticed the motorhome in the next site over had its lights on..and that site was Prime real estate.

And there ya go..and there we were…..

Harris Beach_327A view me and my tootsies loved.. wasn't just about the view.

morning view brookings

We were excited to arrive in another hot bed of mushrooms…the primary reason for us being here.

This time of year the area is booming with commercial mushroom pickers. We would go into the woods in search of our own bounty..

Brookings day one_014I found many mushrooms on our wanderings through the forest that I have not identified..

Please feel free to post a comment if you know any of the IDs or if I have one wrong.

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I believe these are Elfin Saddles

~funny little flimsy shrooms with various funky heads..


mushroom_015A type of club coral?

last day shrooming_007Flat-topped Club Coral


mushroom_027The bottom of the same mushroom.

mushroom_029These are just a few of the many different types of mushrooms we see as we are looking for the edibles.

last day shrooming_003last day shrooming_025Once and a while we see critters..

Rough skinned Newt?

mushroom_033Wood hawk..


Those things are all well and good..


We are here to find Special mushrooms..

The mushrooms we drive 15 miles up a windy mountain road for..

The ones we will climb vertically up sides of hills for..

The ones we will carefully cross mountain brooks for..

The ones we crawl on our hands and knees under huckleberry shrubs for..

The ones that a thousand spider webs in our face could not scare us away from..

The Edibles..

Chanterelle~ this was the end of the season for them here..We found about a gallons worth..not nearly as much as we found in Florence and Eugene area.

mushroom_005It was a booming Hedgehog season!

Any tasty edible mushroom that extended our season by appearing either earlier or later than other mushrooms would be an automatic favorite of ours, but Hedgehogs have a lot of other fine qualities going for them, too.  For one thing, they’re very common, relatively easy to find and predictable in their chosen habitats.  Moreover, they usually come back to the same spots, year after year (although being too greedy and picking every last one isn't recommended).  They’re hardy, even withstanding light freezes (which mean the end of the season for many other mushrooms).  They’re absolutely goof-proof - unmistakable for anything else - another plus (and ideal for beginners!).  They’re tasty, very much like Chantrelles (which is a good thing to be “like!”).  And they are beautiful, their tan to apricot color sometimes appearing to almost glow from within in certain light, particularly light fog.  So, what’s not to like?

From~ Mad about Mushrooms~Hedgehog 101

Yeah~what they said ^^

This was amazing to catch Prime Hog season! We picked a few gallons of them.

The most we have ever found.

last day shrooming_009Yellowfoot Chanterelles

A yellowfoot is easy to love. They are petite, with caps no more than three or four inches across, and mostly far smaller than that. They are usually clean, especially if you snip them off at the base with your fingernails or scissors. Yellowfoot caps are a tawny brown with a cute little dimple in the center, and their stalks – their feet – are a fetching canary yellow.


In the kitchen, yellowfoot chanterelles are even more versatile than their more glamorous cousins, the true chanterelles. Real chanties cannot be dried, in my opinion; they lose their aroma and get unpleasantly leathery. Real chanterelles are best pickled. Yellowfoot chanterelles are just as good as a pickle, and their petite size makes them prettier on the plate. What’s more, yellowfeet are wonderful dried, which is important: I use them constantly in my cooking.

from~ hunter.angler.gardener.cook

last day shrooming_029We picked about a half gallon of these little beauties~

last day shrooming_034 to our picking repertoire

The one and only Black gold~our new favorite mushroom!


Black Trumpet~Horn of Plenty

Craterellus cornucopioides

These mushrooms can be right before your eyes..and you might just walk over them..

Do you see them below?

last day shrooming_032How about now?

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Black trumpets are as delicious as they are macabre. They are so aromatic, so savory that I might just like them better than the regal porcini or chanterelles. The only problem with trumpets is that they are black — and that color stains anything they are cooked with, so you need to either go with it, as in my midnight rice recipe, or cook them separately.

Black trumpets are a mainstay in the dried mushroom medley I use as something of a secret ingredient in most of my stocks, broths and stews. I always have several quarts of dried trumpets hanging around in my pantry. 

via~hunter.angler.gardener. cook

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We picked about a half gallon of this black gold.

last day shrooming_039It was a wonderful place to forage..

and find terrariums in the woods.. Smile

last day shrooming_011On our way back from our daily foray..

We pass the local hotel where the mushroom buyers have set up shop.

Commercial pickers come in to sell their daily finds..

Chanterelle, Hedgehog and Black trumpet…and an occasional Cauliflower mushroom.


Brookings day one_031Hedgehog mushrooms..

Brookings day one_033

We love us some mushrooms..

These Lobster mushrooms were from our first foray in the area…we bagged these along with a bevy of Chanterelles. I know these look ugly but i clean off the dirt,cut off the soft spots and the areas with worms.. and they are great.

The "lobster mushroom" is actually a fungus that has parasitized a Russula or Lactarius mushroom. There's really no mistaking it: the fungus creates a beautiful, bright orange covering over the mushroom, the surface of which is rather hard, and dotted with tiny pimples. Eventually, the fungus even begins to transform the shape of the host mushroom, twisting it into odd contortions.

Hypomyces lactifluorum: 

Lobster Mushroom

lobster shroomThis table, overlooking our amazing view of the ocean, holds our bounty from day two.. 

second foray brookingsour Last foray ~

Yellowfoot and Black Trumpet mixed together in front.

Hedgehogs in center

Chanterelle in the back..

~wonderful view behind it all~

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It takes an hour or so to clean the mushrooms.

I put some in the dehydrator..others I cook and freeze.

In the photo below I am sautéing some Hedgehogs to freeze..

Thanksgivings home made cranberry sauce cooling behind them.

1 hedgehog saute

Our stay in Brookings was magical..

OUR view

Some mushroom links..Because ya know.. Mushrooms can save the world..or so some say they can.


The Turkey Tail mushroom saved Paul's mother from cancer. At 84 she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her tumour was 5cm large and had spread to her liver and sternum. Being too elderly for most treatments, her doctor suggested she tried Turkey Tail mushrooms which were being trialled. Ironically, Paul was growing them. His mother now has no signs of cancer.

Cordyceps have been found to attract insects and supress immune systems and other mycellium was found to up-channel hydrocarbons, turning them into fungal carbohydrates. These mycellium have been tested in oil spill areas, where not only did they soak up the spilled oil in both fresh and salt water, but the mushrooms that grew, attracted insects which in turn attracted frigs and other wildlife. This meant the ecosystem was being saved on various levels.

This is a must watch video, that will fill you with joy and hope for the future of our planet and mankind.

How Mushrooms Can Save The World and Us


6. Plant native deciduous and conifer trees, along with hyper-accumulating mycorrhizal mushrooms, particularly Gomphidius glutinosus, Craterellus tubaeformis, and Laccaria amethystina (all native to pines). G. glutinosus has been reported to absorb – via the mycelium – and concentrate radioactive Cesium 137 more than 10,000-fold over ambient background levels. Many other mycorrhizal mushroom species also hyper-accumulate.

Using Fungi to Remediate Radiation at Fukushima


Dutch designer Eric Klarenbeek’s new Mycelium Chair is an amazing mushroom-sprouting seat that fuses organic materials with modern 3D printing technology. Working with the University of Aachen, Klarenbeek developed a way to 3D print with living cells instead of plastic or metal. The sculptural fungus chair is sowed with mushroom spores that flourish over time, creating a new symbol of organic technology.

Read more: 3D-Printed Mycelium Chair Sprouts Living Mushrooms! | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

3D-Printed Mycelium Chair Sprouts Living Mushrooms!


Foraged wild mushrooms are among a four-star chef's most prized and coveted ingredients. But they are also the fruit of a secretive and sometimes dangerous subculture. In The Mushroom Hunters: On the Trail of an Underground America, author Langdon Cook sets out to shed light on the modern mushroom trade, tracking fungi from patch to picker to buyer and, ultimately, the finest New York City restaurants. Informed by a decade of hobby mushroom picking, and fueled by legends of territorial gun battles, Cook makes for the woods to hunt mushrooms, live and dine with pickers, and discover a hidden way of life in some of the country's most beautiful and wild places.

The Secret Lives of Mushroom Hunters


Read the link below to get a feel of what it is like to be hunting mushrooms in the fall….exactly how I feel.

I love to walk along animal trails buried deep in the thicket. I love to bushwhack in the late fall – in the autumn when the smell of dying mushrooms, decaying leaves and salt air wafts through one’s senses, the emotions flared by seasonal change pressing into the soul like good medicine.

The edible wild mushroom

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Inhale deeply…

We left Florence yesterday and headed south..

We didn't get far.. we stopped to revisit a favorite campground..

Winchester Bay RV park.

siteOur view is water, boats and birds..

But enough of this..

I want to tell you about our day today..

wb (1)

I wanted to inhale today in one huge breath and never let it out!

After being cold for a week or so… was nice to feel the warmth of the sun.

It was a beautiful day. A warm 60 degrees..

We drove past the sand dunes loaded with off road vehicle tracks..

This is a very popular area to come with an ATV.

Winchester bay_018A large area of sand dunes to play in.

Winchester bay_033We instead..

Went to the beach..

Winchester bay_037No ATVs here..

Winchester bay_038Just us and a few others..

Winchester bay_046Here we are..

This was a day of shadows..

Winchester bay_047and sand..

Winchester bay_050

Winchester bay_054I play with my shadow..

and Jeff..

Winchester bay_056Got em..

Winchester bay_057What are the white things on this driftwood?

Winchester bay_059A closer inspection shows sand dollars..

lined up in a row..

Winchester bay_061

Winchester bay_062Got down low for this one..

Winchester bay_072A lovely shell in the sand..

Winchester bay_075Jeff looking for birds..

Winchester bay_079We weren't the only ones on the beach..

There were these people..

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And this prehistoric creature..

Winchester bay_090making its way to the ocean..

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Oh oh oh…We found some wonderful driftwood..

Gorgeous~amazing pieces that someone in my family would have loved.

We tried to pry this root system loose but it was attached to a tree under the sand..

Darn!Winchester bay_102Oh my..what have we here..

Winchester bay_104We wanted soooo much to take this with us..

If we had a truck we would have..

Winchester bay_107What a beautiful sculpture..

I know one of my Sickstas would have LOVED It…

Sorry.. Sad smile


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Instead Jeff carried this out..

He thought maybe Sicksta Lori would like it.

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Winchester bay_116I carried out this piece of smoothed bark..

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Time to leave the beach ..

Winchester bay_125Jeff watches the birds while I wander down the road.

Winchester bay_128Taking photos..

Winchester bay_129See me?

waving to our campground in the distance.

Winchester bay_131Wood owl

Winchester bay_132Winchester Bay..we see this from our campsite.

Winchester bay_134We travel a few miles north..

Looking for woods..

Winchester bay_141And mushroomsWinchester bay_145I think this is Witchs butter..

Tremella mesenterica

Winchester bay_138We found Chanterelles here..

Not frozen like the ones we found a few days earlier further north.

These were on the dry side…

not enough rain.

Winchester bay_148Clear cutting in the distance…

lots of that here..

I don't like it.

Winchester bay_151We pass these train cars..

I think they are used to carry wood off the mountains..

wb (3)They made nice windows..

wb (4)It was getting late..

We decided to go to the beach to catch the sunset..

Winchester bay_169Wonderful lighting and shadows..

Winchester bay_171

Winchester bay_174The shadows are long and stretchy..

Winchester bay_176Foot prints in shadows..

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Winchester bay_181Winchester bay_186We walk to the jetty..Winchester bay_194

Oyster farm

Winchester bay_189

The lighthouse..

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Winchester bay_211

Winchester bay_215We leave the jetty and walk south..

Winchester bay_219Jeff leads the way..

Winchester bay_223

Winchester bay_227Two people up ahead..

They are doing Tai Chi..

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While the sun sets..

Winchester bay_238


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What a day..

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