All posts in category Wild Edible Foods
Posted by Sharon on January 12, 2016
I had not intended to blog about Florida again because we are, as usual, spending the winter here. The biggest treat is having time with family.
Unfortunately, I had to do a factory reset on my phone and haven’t downloaded all the photos yet. I’m waiting for our next data cycle. So there will be no photos to share of the lovely 80 degree Christmas celebrated in shorts at Gail’s screened porch.
So I’ll just share my available photos taken at random, and let the captions tell the story…. which is, it’s CHILLY down here now!
BTW, our water pump went out and our toilet needs replacing. I have them ordered and Gail and I will do the mods when we get back to her house in a week or so.
Posted by Sharon on January 10, 2016
I was outside when the sun was too high, so I hope you enjoy the subjects of the photos. The pictures themselves aren’t great.
I suppose first I’ll tell you the adventure part, as the photos are pretty self-explanatory. I set out toward the back of our property, heading toward the area that is the best mushroom habitat around, by a little steep-banked creek. I never made it that far. There were many blowdowns, thick underbrush, hills and a steep ravine. I didn’t make it back that far, either!
I did make it a few hundred steeply sloped feet. I found several varieties of LBM’s (little brown mushrooms) that the experts have difficulty identifying. I also found a couple of medium tan-colored mushrooms that I intended to try to identify when I got back to the house. And several tiny orange mushrooms that looked a little chanterellish, but it’s way too early for them. They went in my bag to identify, too.
(But — pink ladyslippers are blooming! They were my consolation prize.)
Anyway, I got very tired and out of breath, so decided I’d better head (uphill) home. I climbed one little ridge, and that was it. I sat down on a thick cushion of forest duff and hyperventilated for a while.
I was going to stay there until I recuperated, but then I heard some of the dogs that run free around here sounding like they were fighting. That REALLY scared me, so I bushwacked over blowdowns, greenbrier, blackberry bushes, sapling trees… until I couldn’t go any farther.
This time I found a nice log to sit on. I beat on it with my hiking pole and prodded around to make sure there were no nasty critters under it, sat down, and the log cracked and sent me tumbling.
So I phoned Ron and told him where I was and asked him to bring me my inhaler. After using that, I felt better. And after resting a while, we made it home.
Exhausted, I threw the mushrooms I had planned to identify in the trash, too tired to mess with them, and crashed for a long nap.
So, apparently the COPD is getting worse… which means stick to easy trails and always carry my inhaler.
Before I headed into the woods I saw a couple of bull thistles with flower stalks and unopened flowers. At this stage the prickly flower stalks are downy and can be easily held with bare fingers.
I had them in my mushroom basket, so did put them into the refrigerator before I crashed.
When I got up, it was an easy job to scrape the down off the flower stalks and pop them in the pan with my chicken stew. At this young stage they have a very mild celery flavor, and they didn’t add anything to the dish I was cooking except fun.
When the stalks get older, they get prickly and hollow. I hold them with a pair of needle-nose pliers and peel off the prickles with a pocket knife. They have an intense celery flavor and are much better for cooking. They get tough at that stage though, so need to be sliced thinly then.
So today was a good news-bad news day.
Oh, I almost forgot! I saw the plastic surgeon this morning who will be tightening up my droopy eyelids which is supposed to improve my vision significantly. I hope it does. But I’m secretly thrilled that my eyes will look better, too!
Posted by Sharon on April 22, 2015
(Click the photos to see a larger image of the Myco Pro app that you can read.)
The weather hasn’t permitted foraging in the woods, and our handyman hasn’t shown up yet. So I’ve been entertaining myself immersed in my favorite mushroom app. So far I’ve been able to get up to 256 points on the quiz before losing the 3 lives the app allows. It seems rather unfair because sometimes when you correctly identify a lethal mushroom, you get
a point for correct identification, but sometimes lose a life anyway! However, it is a reminder that if you aren’t very careful foraging mushrooms you could die — just like that! On the positive side, the quiz repeats mushrooms you have correctly identified as well as the ones you misidentified. The repetition really helps fix the mushroom in your mind.
You can also save photos and GPS locations where you’ve found mushrooms so you can find them again.
Can you tell I am crazy about the Myco Pro app? I have downloaded or bought every mushroom app available on Amazon and Google’s play store — and I have uninstalled all but 3. But Myco Pro is far and away the very best! If you want to use the app to full advantage, you really need to know the main characteristics of the most common genera. For that there is no better book to introduce beginners (and intermediates) to the
safest and tastiest mushrooms than David Fischer and Alan Bessette’s book, Edible Wild Mushrooms of North America. Get the book — not the e-book. The e-book is riddled with typos and has tiny, low resolution images. The hard copy is truly superb. It’s
impossible to poison yourself if you follow the excellent key points for identification that precedes each mushroom description. Most importantly, it shows you how to take a spore print, which is a critical first step in identifying mushrooms.
Totally off-topic, I am doing this post on my phone because the touchpad on my new netbook died. 😦
Anyway, after all this rain, I’m heading to the woods hoping to find lots of mushrooms to photograph — and hopefully some that are good to eat!
Obligatory disclaimer: I get no financial or any other kind of consideration for these endorsements, although, admittedly, I sound like a commercial! 😀
Posted by Sharon on April 14, 2015
I was seriously tempted to take some of the redbud flowers to make pancakes with, but decided I didn’t want to have to explain to a ranger why I was eating his trees!
So I settled for using a little field garlic in our dinner omelets this evening.
It’s fun watching spring start all over again after experiencing it in Florida.
We have had to take turns walking since Sunny can’t be left alone now. We went shopping in Valley yesterday, but had to take turns shopping, too. It was too hot to leave Sunny in the truck without air conditioning.
I thought I would always have a dog. But after being so constrained by Sunny and Sheba this trip, I think that when Sunny passes on, I may wait a while and see how I do without one.
Posted by Sharon on March 19, 2015
My plan this afternoon was to take a 45 minute walk on the Florida Scenic Trail and then retrace my steps, which would have been a nice walk for both Sheba and me.
However, after I realized that it would involve stepping into ankle-deep mud puddles, I changed my mind.
What is so funny about these photos are they are almost identical to the ones I took when we were here in both the Casita and in the Aliner on previous visits. The same post with its tiny garden growing in the top, the same trail sign, the same wooden walkway over the wettest places.
When I saw all the exposed palmetto roots, I remembered that Dad had always told me to stay away from them because rattlesnakes liked to hang around them. I wasn’t sure if it was true or not until the mid 80’s when we were living in Altamonte Springs.
One of our neighbors and her husband had dug up a long palmetto root to dry, polyurethane, and mount over their bed as an intriguing sculpture. They left the root on their screened in porch, and left the door between the screen room and their living room open overnight.
The next morning they discovered several baby rattlesnakes in their living room carpet!! So I don’t go digging around palmetto roots much anymore, even if there is yummy palmetto cabbage under the new palmetto shoots.
We are looking forward to new scenery. I’ve never camped at O’Leno, so next week I’ll have some new sights to share with you.
I promise! 🙂
Posted by Sharon on January 3, 2015
At last! We found mushrooms today. Unfortunately, all of them except the shaggy stalk bolete and the orange amanitas were in various stages of decomposition.
The shaggy stalk bolete is edible, but not great. We left it to spread its spores and hopefully produce more.
The smooth orange mushrooms (with the white sac-like volvas) MIGHT be American Caesar mushrooms (aka Amanita jacksonii) which are said to be edible and delicious. However, I’m not willing to bet my life against a horribly painful, long drawn out death to risk eating anything in the amanita family, especially when I am not absolutely certain of my ID. According to the literature, A jacksonii is supposed to have yellow gills. These look too white to me.
We also saw a group of 2 does and 4 twin fawns. And we found a wild persimmon tree whose unripe ruit has a long way to go before becoming sweet and delicious. The campground is rapidly filling up for the weekend. But today was relaxed and pleasant. We met some lovely people, and Sheba made friends young and old. 🙂
Posted by Sharon on August 1, 2014
Wow! Do I ever have a lot to learn! But I adore macro photography and now I should be able to get some of the closeups I love.
I am not sure about the color capabilities of this camera. They looked a little dull without the saturation boost, but I am not sure I like them with the saturation boost either. And I want the subject sharp and the background blurred. Maybe I need to do everything with manual focus and skip the automatic settings? If anyone has any tips for a beginner, I’d love to hear them. In the meantime, I’ll be doing a lot of reading on it.
Maybe I should have bought a more expensive camera? Or maybe I just need to learn this one. One thing is for sure, it will take a while! 🙂
Today was hot and muggy. So humid that the air felt heavy and hard to breathe. So walking wasn’t a lot of fun. But this evening a cool, brisk breeze is blowing and thunderstorms will be moving in shortly.
I haven’t found a single decent mushroom yet. They will probably all fruit a couple of days after we leave since more rain is predicted!
Posted by Sharon on July 31, 2014
Cloud cover and a steady breeze made exploring the woods a pleasure today. Amazingly, we have not picked up a single tick! Yet, anyway!
I took Sunny for a short, slow, old-doggie-paced walk this morning. He soon tired, so we headed back. Then I took Sheba for a longer, brisker, more interesting walk.
I found all kinds of little wonders to photograph. However, in transferring them to my computer, I lost over 30 of them. My favorites, of course!
I think it might be time to start thinking about getting a new camera. I promised myself one for Christmas, but I might not make it that long.
Posted by Sharon on June 7, 2014
The rain has been so dependable that I haven’t had to water anything yet this year. Both the things I planted and the wild things I didn’t are thriving.
We have been eating salad from our Earth Boxes for several days. All of the lettuces are going strong. I did have to pull up the radicchio because it bolted and turned too bitter. It certainly was beautiful, though.
The patio tomatoes are fruiting, and the bell peppers have little peppers on them.
I planted cilantro and marigolds in two empty Earth Boxes. I also have green clumping onions planted in one.
I have put off doing anything with the square foot gardens because my heart is just not into it.
Life is in a holding pattern until our next trip, it seems. 🙂
Posted by Sharon on May 24, 2014