A Quick September Hike In The Susquehanna Wetlands, And Then A Successful Search For Mushrooms
It’s September already. How did that happen? It seems like it was just yesterday when I was waiting for the first robin to return. Well it did happen. Summer is nearing it’s end. . It is September. And September is usually the peak mushroom season here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. I enjoy foraging for edible wild mushrooms. I’ve been doing it since I was four years old. So I had a dilemma. Even though it has been dry, and the mushrooms not growing, I still had to look. But September is also when the migratory song birds leave their Summer homes in Canada and migrate south, passing through Pennsylvania on their journey. So the choice I had to make was mushroom hunting or birding?
I decided to do both. A quick hike looking for birds and other wildlife then off to search for mushrooms. I first drove to the Susquehanna Wetlands in Salem Township in Luzerne County, about a 1/2 drive from my home in Hazle Township. It was a sunny and mild late Summer morning. I arrived around 8 a.m. As is my custom I first walked down to the Susquehanna River,
It was quiet in the wetlands. The usual noisy calls of the red-winged blackbirds and catbirds were silent. No warblers or vireos were singing in the canopy of leaves over the trail. I did here an eastern wood pee wee and a Carolina wren singing in the distance but otherwise the wetlands were silent. I already miss the bird song that fills the wetlands in Spring and early Summer.
I also saw a few gray catbirds that were now calling out with their noisy calls in the in the wood along the trail. There were other bird’s now singing in the tree tops. I think the sun warmed up the wetlands and , as the insects became active, the birds were now feeding on them. I didn’t spend the time I usually do to try and photograph the birds since I wanted get in a quick hike and then forage for mushrooms. And I had to do this by 1 p.m. so I could attend my nephew’s Labor Day picnic.
and these are native painted turtles. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos of the birds and other critters I saw on my hike. Susquehanna Wetlands wildlife September 3 2023.
And, I found a mushroom , a scaly pholoiota, growing on a dead tree branch. I hoped it was a good omen for my mushroom hunt. Here is another link to a gallery on my blog website with more photos from my four mile hike. Susquehanna Wetlands September 3 2023.
After my quick hike in the wetlands I headed to on of my favorite mushroom area, I wasn’t expecting to find anything because of the dry weather , but, surprisingly, I found these large very nice ramshead mushrooms, as we call them in my area. They were growing around an oak tree. They are also known as hens of the woods. and maitake or ” dancing mushroom ” in Japan where the people were so happy they danced when finding one. And for you technical folks the Latin name is Grifola frondosa. I was happy and did a little dance. I roamed some other woods but I found nothing. I was happy with the ones I found so I hurried home and made it to my nephew’s party on time. I shared my find of ramsheads with family and friends, keeping enough for a couple of nice meals for myself. Hopefully there will be more. I am optimistic, it is pouring rain as I finish this blog . I love Summer and mushroom season.
“By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather
And autumn’s best of cheer.” – Helen Hunt Jackson