So, reading about the successes of the chicken-of-the-woods that are being found, it just stirred in me a bit of a fever to try to find some myself. And you know the only prescription for a fever is...more mushrooms! I was feeling cooped up and just had to bust outside. No matter that it was raining with thunder and likely any mushrooms might be waterlogged. Sometimes you just gotta get outside!! Can anyone relate?
I grabbed my old foraging back pack. Them old military issue ones (such as those from Europe) are simple and best. Let's see:.foraging kit - check; me - check, and Jeep - check. Heck, no raingear; I rarely ever use it.
Being in South Carolina I drove up towards Columbus NC my former foraging grounds. Not really expecting to find anything. Just to get out. I go to one of my favorite areas, which often bears some other mushroom treasures. I trek thru the woods past the creek and all the yellowroot growing along its banks. I spy a soaked Russula-type mushroom here and there. Only a couple. Head down the trail where I have found sparasssis … nothing. Then down the chanterelle trail. Surprisingly I find a cluster of small chanterelles, bright yellow orange but not fully matured. Seems a bit early. And I trot by where I just discovered a couple of lobsters last year. Now I know none of these are in season and I am really finding nothing much at all. Which I sorta expected.
BUT any walk in the woods is a treat. I did say hello to the bloodroot family that has grown there for years. Their puzzle piece leaves are so unique. And as I stopped to admire them I was thrilled to see a couple of St.John's Wort plants - Hypericum punctatum. I took one small leaf and crushed it between my fingers and it showed considerable purplish staining. This particular variety, which I have seen around North Carolina, has actually been researched and found to have a high degree of active constituents.
One does not always have to ingest a plant to receive its medicine. It is a treat to sometimes just hang out with it and enjoy it just as it is. That is medicine in itself! It is just like finding the chickens, or a sparassis, or some other mushroom treasure. As much fun to find it as to eat it!
So, no big whup. A couple of small chanterelles for a couple of eggs. It will flavor them well. I was happy to bust out of my sudden cabin fever when sometimes the only prescription IS a trek down the road!
Terri Herrlein aka scamperfera