Our friend Wayne left early this morning, so our day was spent doing the usual things we do after a guest leaves to get ourselves back to normal...like cleaning the linens, putting things back where they belong (our place is small, and our guest room is also our office, so we tuck things away here and there to make room and inflate the awesome air mattress we have which then leaves little walking space) and doing other normal daily chores that were slightly neglected. We also wanted a little time to unwind (you know, having guests and ensuring they completely enjoy their visit keeps you on your toes most of the time, even with the closest of friends or family) so we decided to take a long ride on Big Bear (ATV) up into the Nantahala National Forest behind our cabin on this gorgeous day...soaking in the beauty of the woods and hunting...yes, you got it...mushrooms...which ended up not being such a normal afternoon after all.
We found several of our favorite fungi in the normal spots we hunt. Our first unusual find was in this piney area...that's Johny in the bottom center of the picture...gives you the scale of how big this forest is...
...ruffly looking and huge...
He also found these Lactarius volemus (or Fish Milky because they smell like fish, not a pleasant odor at all) that are said to be choice eating by several experts. I've never tried them but Johny did last year and he said they were absolutely delicious. He only took a few and left many more that we will go back for (yes, I will wear pants this time).
And then he shouts "wait 'til you see this" and holds up a huge Lobster mushroom...not the norm because they are usually 1/3 this size...and there were about four or five more exactly like it, which we will also collect when we go back.
There is something really exciting...and not the norm...about finding something new that is edible (we find lots of new non edible mushrooms). We do, of course, use caution even though a mushroom is identified as edible, and eat only a bite or two the first time to be sure we don't have an adverse reaction to it...in a way, this ensures the normal enjoyable experience of eating fungi!
I know my writing about mushrooms is becoming a bit of the norm, but this is the time of year they can be found, and we love mushrooms...I hope you are enjoying the discoveries...before we know it they will be gone!
Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,