It's hard to believe this beautiful shaggy mane will soon meet its inky fate!

The flood of mushrooms continues to astound me. Yesterday after work I took Judah out for a hike and arrived home just before dark with a backpack bursting with king stropharias, lion’s mane, black trumpets, yellow foot chanterelles, cinnabar red chanterelles, and maitake. I was lucky enough to receive a dinner invitation from friends, and we enjoyed the mushrooms (minus the strophs and hen) alongside salmon and broccoli.  Delicious!

In other news, I found my first shaggy mane and hedgehog mushrooms of the season. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to the shaggy manes in time – after 24 hours in the fridge, they were well on their way to becoming a pool of inky spores.

The hedgehogs, on the other hand, did make it to the frying pan, bringing back memories from last fall with their fruity flavor. This is one of the safest gourmet mushrooms for beginners to ID, with its yellowish-orange cap and tooth-covered underside.

Another one of the most foolproof species is the black trumpet. This has been an epic year for trumpets, and the forests are still littered with pounds of these well-camouflaged mushrooms if you know where to look. Get out and find your own trumpet patch today; the colder nights will soon send them into hiding.

I hope you are enjoying the forager’s harvest as much as we are!

Northeastern ForageCast for the week of September 13, 2011!