A Late August Hike: Plenty Of Mushrooms And Even More Mosquitoes
Late August in Northeastern Pennsylvania is the peak of wild mushroom season. Many of the early and mid Summer
edible species, such as the milky mushrooms,
the black trumpets and chanterelles can still be found.
And the late summer species such as the edible chicken of the woods,
and the poisonous jack-o-lanterns are now growing.
All species of mushrooms need one thing to grow, and that is water. And there was plenty of that from all the rains we had the past few weeks.
It was a mostly sunny and cool day on Saturday and I was out early looking for some edible species of mushrooms. My father taught me how to pick red top, a species of bolete mushrooms. I learned many more edible species over they years and looking for them has always been one of my favorite late summer pass times. I am sharing the photos of the mushrooms I find and know to be edible ONLY to illustrate my love for this hobby. Please DO NOT consume any wild mushrooms unless you are ABSOLUTELY certain they are edible. A mistake can make you very sick or even kill you. And many edible and poisonous ones look much alike.
So I began my hike in an area which will not be revealed, we mushroom pickers are very secretive of our favorite spots. I immediately began finding all kind of species of mushrooms. Most were not edible, but I still enjoyed observing them. Some are so delicate and fragile.
I soon found that the recent rains had brought out many other species of mushrooms. I was familiar with some like this variety of Amanita. Many of the Amanita species are poisonous and some deadly so I stay away from them.
Others were new to me, like this one which I have learned is a beefsteak polypore. After careful research and help from some experts I determined it was edible. It was very good.
In addition to the mushrooms the recent rains brought out swarms of mosquitoes. They are breeding in the many ponds and puddles left by the rains. I got many bites. But they are also food for the other critters living in the woodlands and forest. The birds, dragonflies and spiders love them as much as they love me.
And there were a lot of spiders along the trail, including this young orb weaver.
I also saw a few grasshoppers.
There were some birds, chipmunks and deer too but I only had my macro lens on my camera so I didn’t get any photographs. But I did get plenty of edible mushrooms on my six mile, mosquito infested hike.
And they made for a delicious meal. This was a meal made with a medley of the mushrooms I gathered including burnt orange bolete, old man of the woods bolete, two-colored bolete, black trumpets, chanterelles, chicken of the woods and a variety of milky mushrooms. It was worth all of the mosquito bites I got. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike.
Falling in love is like eating mushrooms, you never know if it’s the real thing until it’s too late.– Bill Balance