In Kitchen and Garden in 2011

There will be trees and flowers and food and garden design and some eeks of the week and a great deal more. But as it happens we are starting out with the wild mushrooms that appear here so frequently, because, as Bill said yesterday,

“ A January Thaw: What could be nicer? Today at noon it was 56 F on our front porch.The sun was shining, our  bees were out for their first cleansing flights of the winter, the odd songbird or two could be heard rehearsing spring calls, and on our new year’s walk this shining bit of cheer and promise: ”

Phyllotopsis nidulans, orange mock oyster

No, they’re not edible; just a reminder that there’s always something growing (and always something to share).

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  • Matt Anderson Said,

    That is funny. I think I saw the same species growing on a tree in the backyard on Jan 1st too. I didn’t know what they were and thought to myself, these look just like oyster mushrooms. But as I studied them I thought there’s something not quite right with these. They looked like little oysters that had begun to decompose (that’s what I thought about the orange color) plus they were small in comparison to typical oysters. I wasn’t desperate (lots of venison in the freezer), so I left them.

    Also, on Jan 1st as I was driving down Rt. 82 on my way to JFK to drop off my sister, we passed two people walking down the road. After we got past them I said to Kristin, “that was Bill and Leslie.” To my sister I said, “that’s the mushroom guru who taught the two classes I attended.”

    Happy New Year! Matt.

    P.S. Coyote tracks on my neighbors patio right up to the door, around the wood shed, around the corner and all the way along the back side of the house where the snow accumulations were slim due to the roof overhang. How lovely.

  • Susan Scheid Said,

    A lovely, hopeful post to send us into the New Year. Thank you!

  • Bill Bakaitis Said,

    Hi Matt, Kristen,

    Yes, that was us. We usually take the back roads on our walks, but made a longer loop when you saw us which took us out us on the main road for a quarter mile or so on the way back home.

    Interesting about the coyote prints near your house. Yesterday I investigated a several hundred acre plot where Leslie and I heard Coyote songs on a midnight walk a month ago. Despite lots of deer sign (and where were they during hunting season I might ask?) and a weeks accumulated record since the big snowfall I did not see a single Coyote (or Turkey) track. A few Gray and one Red Fox trails were encountered and one ‘coon set which I followed for a mile or so. Not quite typical raccoon, but with long padded well separated digits and prominent nails, keeping on old stone fences and logs where possible, eventually a few clear sets of tracks heading up a ridge seemed to settle the issue.

    It was in an area where a few years ago I followed a set of bear tracks to a den on that ridge. The DEC came to tag the bear, but in the meantime it had moved on. A young male they said. And, oh yes, the den had an upper ledge replete with ‘coon droppings. The DEC guy actually crawled into the den on his belly to look around. What a guy!!


  • My Son and I had some Morel Mushrooms a friend gave us and OMG! They were great! It was the first time either of us had had them, when and where do you find them? Is there a certain time for them? My Son went out in the woods behind our house(Greencastle, Indiana) and didn’t find any. Several days later, he felt something on his neck and it was a small Tick! Any advice on Mushrooms, and I saw something called Ramp in your comments. Thanks in advance, Gwynn

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