Saturday, February 28, 2009

Year 3 of Drought & Chanterelle Dreams...

This afternoon I made a trip up to look for chanterelles in my favorite area in the Oakland Hills. I found TWO chanterelles. Even if there were other people up there before me who picked all the mushrooms, there are usually signs of mushrooms, even if it is a discarded mushy chanterelle thrown off the trail or a nice chanterelle that fell out of someone's pack -- these have cleanly cut bottoms (deer don't use a knife to pull up chanterelles).

One great indicator are the wood rat middens -- nests that are basically great big piles of sticks that are occupied by little wood creatures also known as "pack rats." There will often be tiny button size chanterelles growing in the middle of those nests and I don't know any mushroom hunter who will go out of his or her way to disassemble a midden to clear every single sign of chanterelles.

The chanterelles just aren't happening. We had such late rain and it may be too little -- we have more rain expected this week but the governator has already called it a drought. Fingers crossed that these rains will reverse our drought and rescue the mushroom season.

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