Sunday, August 08, 2010

Cepe Success!

The 'shrooms have arrived or, as Peculiar wrote, channeling Chaucer ("...had he lived in the Southern Rockies and been more interested in fungi than relics"):

"Whan that August with his shoures soote
the droghte of June hath perced to the roote,
and bathed every veyne in swich parfoum
of which vertu engendred is the shroum....

"...thanne longen southwestryn folk to goon on pilgrimages."

Mike and A. , Chas and Ms. M, and other southwestern foragers are searching and blogging (and eating!) too.

I had nearly given up-- our rains have been intermittently heavy enough to threaten our roof and ceiling but we had seen no king boletes, nor the two "phenological" indicators that seem to predict good crops of the King: spadefoot toads (which need warmth, four days plus steady rain, and thunder), on this level; and in the mountains, the brilliant red- with- white- speckles, "entheogenic" (thanks to Chas for that term, which my computer does not like) but toxic Amanita muscaria.

But today, on the verge of giving up, we hit the jackpot. I emailed some of my fellow mycophiles:

"Our rather intermittent rains, though threatening to bring down the ceiling, hadn't produced any boletes yet, but today we went to the San Mateos and found, not the biggest crop we have ever seen but a full season's harvest, ie enough to fill a 5 gallon jar after drying and enough to throw handfuls into any stew or risotto through the winter (in the best years we get TWO winters' worth!)

"The whole bunch is in the first photo. If that doesn't look like enough to those of you who haven't hunted them with us, look at the Maglite and Opinel knife for scale [Click to as they say "embiggen"]. Though relatively few, they were all of exceptional quality this year, too, well- shaped and dense."

We may find more yet but at least the season is saved! Of course we will keep looking...

(BTW sorry for slow posting lately-- many photos coming plus other posts & links, but read between the lines and you will see BUSY...)

Oh and-- Mike, I agree re Satan's bolete. And we now have most flat surfaces looking like yours, covered with slices...


Anonymous said...

Hi Steve & Libby

Great to hear your supplies for the famous wild mushroom risotto are secure for another season ! cannot imaging Magdalena cuisine without it's unctuous staple!!

Here in Eastern UK our prolongued drought is also showing signs of weakening - some heavy rain and storms, but not enough to replenish groundwater stocks yet.

Our farmers are still grumbling , first about the drought, and now about the delay in cereal harvesting, and secondary chitting ! - no mention of the recent, huge price hikes in wheat, due to Russian Crop failures due to their drought!!.

It's an ill wind .................



Peculiar said...

Nice! There was a boatload of Amanitas up where we found our boletes.

NorCal Cazadora said...

Oh. My. God. What an amazing find! Gorgeous.

Steve Bodio said...

Holly, this is a pretty small crop for us!

mdmnm said...


Glad you all found some, too. Thanks for the confirm on the satan's bolete!