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Foraging 2022

Food for free.

Contains 553 photos, the last of which were added 1 year, 6 months, 27 days, 18 hours, 35 minutes, and 47 seconds ago.

First foray of the year. Winter oysters and velvet shank. A bit slimy, but fine on toast.

Wood ear mushrooms in Ravenscraig Park. They're very reliable all year round. I gave a handful away, and put a handful in a stirfry.

Velvet shank and jelly ear in Ravenscraig Park.

Awake at sunrise for low tide seaweed foraging near Crail.

Sea spaghetti is so cool! Its strands grow out of little mushroomy buttons, and it has a great crunch raw. We also got tons of wakame and kelp, as well as carrageen, dulse, and bladderwrack. Most of it went on the washing line or over the dehumidifier to dry.

Also experimented with blanching it to colour it bright green. Some went in salad.

IT'S BEGINNING

More dryad's saddle on the Early Warning Tree. But either someone had taken most of the new baby fruits, or the slugs had had a mega party. Kind of hard to tell, but I'm sure they were taken too young. A few survived under the nettles at the back of the log (until I got to them).

A few large dryads in the nearby woods. Some already too old. Not all within reach. More than enough for dinner.

A boatload of dryad's saddle. Found a chicken of the woods that is not ready yet. Plus a too-old ring of St George (finally) and other unidentified things.

A visit to the nearby oak woods. A feast of dryad's saddle, and a little chicken of the woods. Just a mouthful.

We were convinced it has lately been too dry to expect much, but we haven't been to "the oyster woods" in a while, so thought we'd wander through to see if anything was starting to fruit. But as we passed through nearby redacted, we filled up our boxes with good quality, perfect condition oysters of at least two varieties (branched and 'normal'), and started to worry.

Sure enough, we got to the oyster woods and had an immediate mushroom emergency. In fact, there were four or five logs that were too old - we had missed by at least a week! But several more that were fruiting prolifically and in absolutely great condition. No worms, and they barely needed cleaned.

We filled up a bag and my backpack directly, and got extremely picky with them. Heroic K came to rescue us with the car, as we began to lose the light.

This saved us over an hour walk home, which we needed as processing them took ages and I was asleep on my feet at this point. We roughly chopped and boiled most of them in salted water, bottling 9 large jars full. There is still a good kilo left fresh, and I made up a box for a neighbour.

A little visitation to the chanterelle woods, but not much out.

An evening trip to the oyster woods - mushroom emergency! Huge flushes, in great condition, nice and clean too. A late night after bottling most of them.

Walked about 12 miles for a mere handful of chanterelles. Visited the dryad fountain, but was too late for the latest huge flush. Found a few charcoal burners in reasonable condition. And a old tragic yellow cracked bolete, anticipating a good summer for boletes? We can hope..

A decent flush of chicken of the woods in the same log that last year I found one as big as my torso. A few baby dryads and oysters around, too.

After a hot week, and a thunderstormy weekend, it was time to see if all the newfound rainfall caused the oysters to flush again. It had, but a week earlier! Somehow we missed it, it must have been wetter in the woods than in Dysart. But there were still a couple of boxes worth that weren't too old, though the rain had splashed them all over with dirt. We also got a handful of charcoal burners in surprisingly good condition.

Went to a spot where we missed chicken of the woods last year, and found a nice flush in perfect condition. Then went to a nearby spot where we got chicken of the woods last year, and saw none. But stayed a few more minutes to look around near by trees, and lo! 5.5kg in total. It's chickeny meals for the next weeks.

Pretty fairies bonnets. A poor showing of chanterelles and a sorry cracked bolete.

Puffballs, birch boletes, not chanterelles, pretty amanitas.

Pretty sure it's a bit early for this many agaricus!

Two trips to different parts of the same local woodland, two days apart, yielded about 6kg of ceps. Unbelievable. Went there multiple times last year and only got a few. This is next level.

An evening trip to a similar but different strip of trees yielded approx another 2kg of ceps. What a week!

Walk and foraging near Wemyss; blackening waxcap, puffballs, shaggy pholiota.

Shaggy parasols and puffballs from Dysart; loads of delicious shaggy inkcaps from Livingston.

A score of hedgehog fungi near Loch Lomond. And some other randos, which I did take home and ID but didn't record and now can't remember, alas.

A minor chanterelle emergency in nearby woodlands. But this is the beginning - more are definitely coming. Some very nice birch boletes, and a load of big amethyst decievers as well. Plus one of my fave very weird mushrooms aesthetically, the white saddle - in exactly the same spot I found them last year. On the fence about whether to eat these. There does not seem to be consensus.

Shaggy inkcaps in Ravenscraig Park. IDing some from the last forage - a new bolete, and a jellybaby!

CHANTERELLE EMERGENCY. 3.5kg.

Also loads of other fun things. Weird bobbly guys. Orange grisette (yum! first amanita I've actually eaten, after excessive amounts of double checking. Sweet and mushroomy), tiniest russula, some way past it ceps, my first common inkcaps, and even some oysters. This is all essentially on my doorstep.

A bag of shaggy inkcaps just on the way into town. 1kg of chanterelles in the dryer at G&S (turned into 160g). Very unusual boletes near a carpark.. under birch, but with very scaly and chunky stems, so 99% sure not birch boletes.

A good haul of beautiful purple wood blewits from Ravenscraig Park.

A few more wood blewits from Ravenscraig.

Nice grey mushrooms that I eventually concluded to be clouded agaric/funnel (I even did a spore print) but didn't get confidence in time to eat them. There were a lot though. And a new spot for massive pile of great condition wood blewits. Loads of fun things coming up in the cemetery; mostly waxcaps and friends, but also shaggy parasols and blushing agaricus.

A couple of mushrooms to ID from the walk home. The big ones growing out of logs I'm not sure but the best guess is a pluteus of some kind. The very wee one was already kicked up, I didn't pull it out. It's probably an agaricus - growing in a spot where I've found Prince before.

A tall tree of old oyster mushrooms. Would have been a huge flush if I'd found it in time! Maybe a couple of weeks to a month too late.

A hidden stash of shaggy parasols in mounds of leaf litter and woodland waste in a nearby park. The big ones are too old, but a whole flush of babies is coming up. Pictures are from two visits, 3 days apart, but they're not growing very fast.

Also found lyophyllum decastes ("chicken mushroom" or clustered domecap) for the first time, though it was too old to eat. I'm 99% sure that's what it was, anyway.. I brought one home to ID, left it on the open mushroom book, which my brother moved to a different table, I forgot about until some days later when the mushroom had completely decomposed and was wriggling in a big splat. A circle of damp shroomy damage done from parasols to just before the amanitas xD

I was running late, but that didn't prevent me from stopping to take pictures of this beautiful little inkcap in the park.

A very local winter forage, in which I discovered a nearby old graveyard which is absolutely brimming with exciting fungal life. Some fantastic slime moulds, along with old waxcaps, still edible blewits and agaricus, and some dead cute smokey spindles and a pinkish coral fungus.

Then onto the nearby big park to check on the shaggy parasols. So many, all up in a line! And they're massive! Picked the biggest ones because they are already getting wormy. And an absolutely amazing patch of common inkcaps around the corner too.

Winter chanterelles! From the same local woods that was great for normal chanterelles this autumn. I didn't pick them, R did, because I didn't feel like going out. But I washed and cooked them.

(The other picture is the slow growing shaggy parasols from earlier in the month.)