Boletus hortonii corrugated top
Tylopilus ferruginous brown bolete
Tylopilus badiceps chocolate/purple brown bolete
Boletus edulis King bolete
The other day, we took in the single largest gathering of mushrooms I’ve ever been a party to. I never went after market sized gatherings of Morels while I was in the Rocky Mountains but I know many people who spoke in quantities of “garbage bags full.” This was much more modest than any of that. Leah’s large soft round bottomed grass basket was packed to the gills with mostly King boletes and 3 other smaller baskets were filled with B. hortonni and Tylopilus ferruginous and Tylopilus badiceps. Watching all these Boletes coming out of the ground pretty much everywhere in the yard has been absolutely mind blowing. I’m used to one or 2 with maybe a smallish cluster somewhere of the random poisonous killer death monster mushroom or a bajillion Little Brown Mushrooms and the big barnacle looking things that grow out of trees but not mushrooms that I would ever want to put into my mouth and swallow. These things coming out for the last couple of weeks are hands down the best mushrooms I’ve ever eaten. I don’t get the big deal with Morels. Sure, they’re tasty but such a pain in the ass to find that just finding them is reward enough for me. Being able to go back and say hello to them and the elves hiding inside of them. That is a beautiful spring afternoon. I guess the way I’ve had them fixed for me by others who gush about how great they are use too much butter or something because all I really get is the butter. I fried some B. hortonii with breakfast and they blew my mind. The Kings we ate the other day were even better , only, they were mixed in with the meal so they were lost to the greens et al. Everything we gathered was broken down so we could get them into the solar dehydrator which meant cutting off the stems, slicing the caps and laying them out on the shelves. Leah is having me hold them out of the dehydrator until they can sit in the sun for a spell as mushrooms continue to make Vit D even after they are cut from the host. This includes grocery store baby bella mushrooms. These crafty little creatures are nearly alive like humans and dogs and donkeys. And come on, the host involved here, that is the same mycelium that helps the trees talk to each other, and helps them move sugars and proteins round. These little jewels are a product of that conversation. Apples on the tree or a rose on the vine. An outward expression of the reproduction process. And we eat it. That’s a little weird when I put it that way.
I don’t know how things are coming up most anywhere but here right now. But it sure seems like things are making fruits and flowers and spores like mad. Those that didn’t succumb to whatever it was that took out a whole bunch of the wild apples this year. The trees look great, not an apple on them. Or so few as to seem like none. But all the wild cherry trees and Peach and Juneberry and blackberry and black raspberry (all also Rose family species) have been loaded down with fruit. The Echinacea has formed hedges in several places in the garden, almost like defensive positions, holding back the invading grass. The Gold Finches are loving it. Except for most apples, this has been a massively producing year, so far. This avalanche of boletes is new to me. Much like the deep winter warm ups with maple sap running in January was new to me. If the profusion of in fecundity is any indication as to what is in store for us, we all better hold on loosely. Or maybe I just need to learn to make my own Onion Soup. Maybe with goat cheese.