We had a perfect start to the Fall relative to wild mushrooms. The second half of September was quite dry and then we had a very heavy few days of rain, just what it takes to get a good bloom on some fine mushrooms. I harvested two varieties from the surrounding woods.
Most common in the Fall are armillaria mellea, the Honey Mushroom. Here is picture from Wikipedia:
These are easy to dry, have a good strong mushroom flavor but can be a tad on the tough side. I got several pickings of these and I now have some in the freezer.
I also was fortunate enough to find a lot of Grifola frondosa, aka, Mitake, aka, Hen of the Woods. These are one of the fine mushrooms that have been “domesticated” and the spawn sold in wooden plugs. Here is a picture from mushroomthejournal.com:
I found several of these (one is good, several is very lucky). My first was about 3 pounds and the second (discovered originally by my wife and dog on a walk) was about 5 pounds. On the oak where the second one was located there were three others of a similar size. We now have six bags in the freezer.
These will be great flavorings all through the winter.