I only started foraging for mushrooms last summer, with the help of my brother Salvelinas, a load of books and a night course at the university. Last year, Salvelinas kept telling me about all the various boletes we were going to find, but we never found them. Last year was mostly bolete-less. This season, I’ve been picking boletes regularly. I have lots more study to do on these, so I can better identify them to species, but all in good time.
We stumbled upon a spot where hedgehog mushrooms grew last season. It was a really small area, near a fallen log. Aside from that one spot, I only found a single hedgehog anywhere else. This year, I’ve learned that hedgehogs are actually common to a much bigger chunk of the forest where I first found them, and that they’re common in another forest I thought I knew pretty well.
The lesson here seems to be that mushrooms aren’t quite predictable. I’ve already experienced big differences in what happens in the woods and when over a two year period. I’ve been keeping notes this year, and posting on this blog, so that I have some record of what I find, when and where, so I can track the changes from year to year. Maybe I’ll even come to understand what factors make for a good year or a bad year for particular mushrooms.
Meanwhile, it was a treat to find a load of hedgehogs last weekend, because they’re very tasty!