After a miserable previous season, with not a mushroom in sight, we were relieved to find plenty of mushrooms this time around. Well, maybe not “plenty”, but enough for a very nice dinner. Moby has found a perfect matsutake (Tricholoma magnivelare), and Emily found the rare cauliflower mushroom (Sparassis crispa). Beginners luck, I say. We also got a good haul of black trumpets, winter chanterelles, and angel wings, with a few hedgehog mushrooms and candy caps sprinkled in. No leftovers this time!
It’s a miracle – Judy managed to get the whole lab together on the same day. Never worked for me… maybe she should be in charge of organizing all lab activities from now on?
We had a great hike in Desolation Wilderness, culminating in a pleasantly cool (sic) swim in Lake of the Woods. We even got caught in a rare summer rainstorm on the way back.
Our first lab mussel-hunting trip to Point Reyes was a success despite heavy surf. We hit the mussel rocks at low tide and were able to collect enormous amounts of big, happy mussels. Our entire lab and numerous allies spent the whole evening cooking and eating them – and still had a bunch left over for later. Lots of work, but it was a very tasty lab outing.
After two years of carving pumpkins, we are doing something more adventurous this fall. Our fall lab outing will be to collect mussels (Mytilus californianus) on Point Reyes in early November (weather and dinoflagellates permitting). Exact date TBD depending on tides and surf conditions. Mussel shells will be collected in the interests of science; soft tissues are surplus to requirements and will be safely disposed of with the help of white wine, garlic and butter. Stay tuned, and think where you can get a wetsuit.
This year’s mushroom trip-and-dinner was once again a success. The weather and forest spirits cooperated with our intentions to a sufficient degree:
The dinner menu featured porcini and shaggy parasol soup, 10-mushroom-species minestrone, sauteed winter chanterelles, hedgehog mushroom risotto, pasta with black trumpet sauce, and candy cap cookies.
Let us hope the next season will be as good or better!
And many thanks to Grace for wonderful pictures.