This has been a tough year for mushroom hounds in the Toronto area. There simply has not been enough rain to fruit quantities of mushrooms. Recently we have had a couple rains, and though they haven’t been the kind of two-day soakers I was hoping for, there was enough to get me wondering if there was enough for mushrooms. My brother Salvelinas Fontinalis had the same idea and suggested we meet up and check out the Enchanted Mushroom Forest.
We arranged to meet at the nearest Tim Horton’s to the forest. I was early; brother was late (I’m usually early; he’s usually late). I parked in the shady part of the Timmy’s parking lot and unloaded the partners. If you stand in a Tim Horton’s parking lot with two Newfoundland dogs for long enough, you’re going to meet some interesting people.
First there were the two women with their dogs in crates in their car. They were on their way to a training facility to do dock diving and other doggy activities. Then there was the chainsaw carver. He saw a so-called reality tv show about chainsaw carvers and decided on the spot that he could do that. He showed me pics on his phone and I have to say his work was beautiful.
With coffee and breakfast sandwiches in our bellies (and yes the partners shared a plain donut) we headed for the forest. Now this is a reliable forest. I never find huge amounts of mushrooms there, but if they are fruiting anywhere around, I always find enough for a couple dinners. As well, within this good sized forest, there are specific places where we find most of our mushrooms, and we usually know very quickly if we are going to find some.
Today the Enchanted Mushroom Forest offered up no tasty edibles, and almost no mushrooms at all. I say almost because I found one single, sad, bolete, which unfortunately was not one of the edible species.
However, it was good to see Salvalinas, and I always enjoy taking the dogs to the forest – of course they don’t much care if we find mushrooms or not. Any day that includes a car ride, a donut and a romp in the forest is a good day as far as the partners are concerned.