Seasonal Alert: Honeys and Hens!
It just goes to show how the collecting season varies here in the Northeast.
In Maine, where we had a poor mushroom season all year, the beginning of October brought with it a flush of Honey Mushrooms (Armillaria mellea complex) and the attendant Aborted Entoloma (Entoloma abortivum). The Hen of the Woods (Grifola frondosus) has not yet appeared on trees that I know and those that are found in Farmers Markets are pitiful fist sized, dried out specimens. I anticipate the big flush in the next week to ten days, conditions permitting.
Meanwhile, in the Hudson Valley and Catskills of New York, which had a fabulous mushroom year, the Honeys began in Mid-September, right on cue, but most of the Hens remained in their underground coops for another fortnight.
They are out now: succulent, fragrant, and large – with what appears to be an attendant flush of young chicks following big momma. Bring your basket and go get ’em.