As I write, I am comforted by the steady pitter-patter of rain falling on my roof. Gazing out my window, the ominous gray clouds on the horizon make me positively giddy.
After Monday’s much-needed torrential downpour, this new round of rain seems too good to be true. And the forecast only holds more good news – the rain is expected to continue intermittently throughout the rest of the afternoon and evening, and more passing thunderstorms are in store for the weekend. Monday’s rain may have been abundant, but one good flood is not enough to cause abundant flushes. Heavy rain means lots of runoff and insufficient infiltration – what really turns the mycelium on is steady, even if light, rainfall over the course of several days. And that, it seems, is exactly what we are getting.
Yesterday I went for a hike near Burlington, and I was mildly disappointed by the overall lack of mushroom activity. However, I was delighted to find my first chanterelle of the year, albeit a slug damaged loner. The intoxicating, fruity yet earthy fragrance reminded me of all that I have been missing.
Indeed, Vermont already received some small chanterelle and chicken of the woods flushes a couple weeks ago while I was on my honeymoon in Peru. But when I returned from my travels, I was met with parched soils that harbored virtually no fungi whatsoever, let alone gourmet offerings.
Now, I can confidently say that my lone ugly duckling chanterelle will not prove to be an anomaly. While I didn’t see much on my hike yesterday, you can rest assured that the mycelial fabric in the forest is hard at work. Nascent chanterelle and perhaps even black trumpet primordia are forming at this very moment, invigorated by the abundant moisture. By next week I expect to be a very happy forager.