Chris’ last hunt of the 2019 mushroom season:

     With the extended warm spell we’ve had here in Georgia, and the last freeze being over 25 days ago, I decided to hit the woods one last time in 2019. I hadn’t found a decent fruiting of “Shrimp of the Woods”, (in which I coined that term about 12 years ago, because the taste and texture is very near to shrimp, and who wants to eat “Aborted Entoloma“?)(now, EVERYONE calls them “Shrimp of the Woods”-LOL), in a few years now and had established a large patch of them down south of Macon, GA many years ago when I lived there. I hadn’t been back there in over 10 years but I could feel them, and knew they were there waiting on me… I contacted a fellow mushroom addict (Patti, a LIFETIME Foray MEMBER) to see if she’d be up for a little adventure. Yep, of course she was ALL-IN! I went to her place (boonies near Greensboro, GA), hunted her spots Saturday afternoon. Hit some nice oysters,

Image may contain: nature, outdoor and text

and then we came upon a tragic sight- A huge lion’s mane over 40 feet up and simply impossible to obtain as we were completely unprepared for something like this. We had only brought basic gear and bags… Damnit! 

Image may contain: tree, sky, plant, outdoor and nature

Image may contain: tree, sky and outdoor

     Looks are deceiving as it was definitely at least 20 pounds! Oh well, took awhile to shake this one off… I glanced back numerous times thinking “if only”, and “why the hell didn’t we bring the proper equipment to handle this situation”?!
     Anyway, we found a nice basketful for a short hunt. Headed back and rested up at her crib to prepare for a 90 minute drive and a hopeful yet completely unpredictable excursion on Sunday morning…

Image may contain: grass, text, outdoor, nature and food

     For me, it is simply amazing how I can remember extreme details of all my mushroom spots all over the entire country. Things like a specific tree with a burl or when exactly to make a turn or drop down into the valley after skirting the ridge of a hill just in time to enter my built-in GPS mushroom spot that was automatically programmed into my brain without my knowledge but is always present. I made sure to cover myself with Patti, as it had been over 10 years and so much can change… Well, it had changed…. The patch had expanded and spread out becoming not nearly as condensed but certainly still producing large incredible shrimps! I was ecstatic

Image may contain: plant and outdoor

     We had probably missed the main “peak” of fruiting by about a week or so as there were quite a few giants that had become too soggy to pick but, absolutely worth the trip and so fun to see them still growing, spreading, and doing well feeding on the honey mushroom mycelium! (That is a whole other story that I will blog about at some point probably entitled “War of the Mycelium”). 

Image may contain: food

     Overall, a way above average hunt for this late in the season even after a very early hard freeze of 19 degrees in late October which messed up the HEN season here in Georgia. We found oysters, elm oysters, velvetfoot, deer mushrooms, coral-pink polypores, lion’s mane, honey mushrooms, tree ear, brown witches butter, peach waxy caps, shrimp of the woods, non-aborted entolomas,  and a nice deer skull to top it off. 

Image may contain: Chris Matherly, standing, outdoor and food

     I am expecting 2020 to be the best year ever with many amazing adventures on the horizon. Happy hunting! I hope to see you in the woods!

-Chris Matherly

12/30/2019

Register for 2020 Morel Forays:

(Please Note: you may need to call Chris directly to receive the below discounts that have expired at 478-217-5200)

Join The Club Now(for as little as $20)!