Week in the Woods (29 IX 19)

We had a fairly tame week in the woods, but still got in several good hikes, spotted a few nice mushrooms, and generally got up to our necks in Nature.

A delicious hen of the woods mushroom found while hiking with my daughter.

We even had this one for dinner! Read on to learn more.

I spotted this lovely lady as Cassie & I took one of our favorite hikes on Thursday. A nice little hen of the woods hiding in the leaf litter, just off the trail.

Not small, but well hidden. I hatched the plan to return with a bag to carry her in a day or two, assuming no one else had scooped her up.

Nope, on Saturday, she was sitting right where we left her, and at least double in size!

Big as a dinner plate!

I didn’t do much to her, just sautéed her in butter with a bit of garlic and served with some pasta. There was a tiny bit of thyme and a bay leaf in there somewhere, too, and some parmesan & parsley from the garden on top. The flavor & texture were heavenly and certainly didn’t need other flavors.

I certainly hope we find some more hens over the next few weeks!

As for other mushroom-fowl, I think this is a chicken of the woods, but it’s so ugly I can’t tell for sure.

We saw a few more cool ones.

And lots of these, which I have yet to identify. If anyone recognizes these yellow fellows, be sure to let me know in the comments.

Now this one I found a few weeks back…

But I did a quick drawing this weekend.

Orange, green, and purple, my favorite colors.

We found a nice turkey feather or two, and stumbled upon to a large flock a little farther down the trail. Cassie & I must have spotted about fifteen or so on the hillside just above us.

It was a beautiful week outdoors with my constant companion. The weather is turning a little cooler, which comes as a welcome change.

Finding, cooking, and eating that hen of the woods was a thrilling experience for me. I’d never taken one before, but felt confident in my identification and knowledge. I’d like to build up my competence as a forager to include a handful of mushroom (and plant) species for each season. It’s a thrill to provide & prepare food straight off the land, and a natural extension of my love of Nature. It’s also knowledge I can pass on to my little savage.

Leave me a comment below and share your own lessons from the wild.

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