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Saturday, November 26, 2016

An Autumn Ramble

Find Jamie in this photo.

Autumn is ending, but a walk with the cats still reveals intriguing sights. 

The creek takes on color as leaves drift down.  I played in this creek as a child in summers when it wasn't so icy.

Claire found a warm spot at the corner of the old log barn where Dad stored hay. Now fallen in, it was built by Mr. Cable in the 1890s.

A few apples cling to branches. Sour and hard in October, this late apple is now crisp and sweet, despite frosty nights.  I shake one down to munch while I walk.

The deer will wait near an apple tree for apples to drop.  We have over one hundred wild apple trees on the place -- and lots of deer.  Bears come through every evening, too.

You never know what you'll run across if you take a different route.

A tramp over our 66 acres is enjoyable, even more so with friends along.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

November Mushrooms

Edible Bolete

I have a wonderful neighbor, Theresa - a born naturalist and a mushroom enthusiast.  My mother always said to avoid all fungi.  Mushrooms, toadstools and anything similar.  "You'll die," she told me.

Well, a few years ago Jay and I discovered we had morel mushrooms and have spent each late spring hunting morels. 

Now, Theresa informs me, we have other edible mushrooms on the property, especially in November after a very wet October.  Porcini, chanterelles, truffles and others.  She took me around our pasture to show me porcinis. Today I hunted on my own.

No, not this one, though a deer or squirrel gave it a nip to test it.  In fact, this Rosy Russula has an acrid taste and shouldn't be eaten.

All over, up though the woods, deer had dug out mushrooms. The photo below indicates that one ate some, but left some deeper down.  I uncovered more pine needles and dug around.  Still a neophyte, I wasn't certain about these particular mushrooms, so left them, especially since I noticed some of the deer droppings were piles of diarrhea.

 But the bolete below, often called porcini, is edible. It's the bottom part of the one in the first photo.

You can tell by their brown shade with a pale yellow underside without gills.  So, I hunted and picked some, brought them home, and cleaned them.  Jay sliced them, coated them with flour and fried them up in butter.  They have a sort of nutty flavor.

Delicious with chicken with Bengal eggplant sauce and Mandarin orange slices.

They can be frozen, so I think I'll go hunting again tomorrow.  It's a beautiful November.