We had some rain showers on Canada Day after what radio reports suggest was the driest June in a quarter century. From a forager’s perspective this is bad news. Most years, I find chanterelles up in the enchanted mushroom forest at the beginning of July. Although in my heart of hearts, I didn’t really think there was enough rain Canada Day to fruit any mushrooms, I convinced myself to go have a look anyway. What drove me to do this was my memory of a strange day in August a few years ago, during a similar very dry period, when I found the motherlode of lobster mushrooms. You won’t know if you don’t go look, I said to myself.
Yesterday morning, I tossed my stick (I like to have a long stick to poke around with when I forage) and my basket in the car and took off on my scouting mission. Fortunately, the enchanted mushroom forests are not so far away. All I can really say is I enjoyed a pleasant hike in the woods. Not only did I not see any tasty edible mushrooms, I saw little evidence of any mushrooms at all. I shouldn’t be surprised.
I can recall other years with little rain. One year, a particularly dry summer, I found hardly any chanterelles all season, although I did a bit better for lobsters and hedgehogs and others later that summer. We could really use a good rain sometime soon to get some fungi action happening. I don’t mean showers or a cloudburst or even a healthy thunderstorm. The forests are really dry. I’d like to see a nice two-day rain, a real soaker.