Posts Tagged ‘autumn’

mushrooming_3_editThis week I had the strongest urge to head into the woods and find some mushrooms. It’s full blown mushroom season in the pacific northwest, and the woods are alive with new life as the rain returns and quenches the thirst of late summer.



Processed with VSCOcam

Processed with VSCOcamI was especially keen on finding some chanterelles. They didn’t appear right away, but to my surprise, the first thing I found was a king bolete. King of the forest! Porcini!  Delicious, beautiful bolete! I thought it was pretty lucky, but then happened to find a few throughout our wander.


hedgehog_1_editThe mushroom above caught my attention, as it looked similar to a chanterelle from a distance, but on closer inspection we found it was actually a hedgehog mushroom. The giveaway is the spiny or toothy looking underside – like the body of a hedgehog.



big_brown_1_editA deer mushroom? Not sure about this one. If I would have tried harder to identify it, I would have paid closer attention to how the stalk snapped and what was going on in those gills.

mushrooming_1_editSO many kinds of mushrooms in the woods right now. So many I could hardly begin to share them all with you!

conch_0_editI think this might be a Red Belted Conk (the orange-hued one). If so, it has some pretty powerful medicinal properties.

coral_0_editA type of coral or club mushroom. Many of this group are edibile, but can be hard to ID (we didn’t pick any). There is a salmon-colored coral mushroom that looks a lot like this one pictured, that will dye wool a purple color!

hydnellum_peckii_0_editThis crazy looking bleeding mushroom was new to us both, and totally freaked us out. We thought for sure it was deadly poison (or some weird, confectionary delicacy?). This is Hydnellum Peckii, and while it’s not edible, due to it’s bitterness, it’s actually not known to be poisonous. It works symbiotically with conifers, as do many mushrooms, and plays it’s important part in the ecosystem.

toad_1_editA patient, quiet toad who let me get incredibly close for a photo.

mushrooming_2_editDeer ferns galore.

chanterelle_4_editThe chanterelle! Steven spotted this particular patch on a little hill.

chanterelle_3_editWhen harvesting chanterelles, cutting above the stem base will allow more chanterelles to fruit in the same spot later. The beginnings of more chanterelles are contained in the stringy mycelium that connects to the mushroom base. It’s important to understand how to properly harvest mushrooms so we do not cause unnecessary harm to the delicate ecosystems we are disturbing.

Processed with VSCOcamThe chanterelle is, for sure, my favorite mushroom. Their unique, earthy, spiciness and full texture is hard to beat. That color is so beautiful, and their smell is unmistakable.

mushrooming_4_editWhile we ate dinner last night, enjoying the experience of the mushrooms we found, I said how, in many ways, it feels much more exciting to eat food that I have found in the wild than the food I have grown in our garden. It makes me feel alive and a part of things in a way that is deep and enduring. Like an animal. A part of the universe. I feel encouraged to learn to identify more of the edible plants around me. We live in such a lush and amazing place here.

Note: My main resource for mushroom identification is All That the Rain Promises and More: A Hip Pocket Guide to Western Mushrooms, by David Arora. It fits in my back pocket and is packed with PNW mushroom knowledge. As with any kind of wildcrafting of edibles, be sure you can 100% identify that the plant you pick to eat is what you think it is. And be sure to always treat the land, and the plants and animals that you encounter, with the utmost respect and care.

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It’s really here. I can see and feel it everywhere! How about where you are?

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october evening paddle




An evening of blue skies and calm waters, just before the heavy rains came back.

On the Oregon coast, summer days are often windy, sometimes quite intensely. Once we settle into the calm of autumn, it can feel like a big exhale.

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rainy days

rainy days

rainy days

rainy days

rainy days

Since moving I feel like I have been working non-stop just to catch up on everything. When orders aren’t being filled, furniture is being moved, boxes are being unpacked, corners are being cleaned and all other manner of the business of settling into a new space that is halfway torn up is being tended to. With the move I have left my job at the retreat center, which means I am self-employed – this time with the intent to subsist off my income from infusion. I have been excited for this chance to invest more time and creative energy into my little business for quite some time now, and during these last couple days I have finally gotten to a point where I am working on a few new things for the shop again. It’s been far too long I think! More on that later — and hopefully sooner than later.

Amidst all the doings mentioned above I have made sure to make some time for long autumn walks, and to explore our new surroundings. The rains came a couple days ago and we had heavy wind and power outage last night, but during the balmy temperate days there are many breaks in which to venture out. I love these rainy autumn days. It’s as if time stretches out just a little bit longer, the world gets a bit quieter and everything comes out refreshed. What do you like about rainy days?

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Life feels so full of transformation right now, both big and small, and in most every area I can think of. It’s exciting, and there seems to be hardly a moment where I don’t recognize something new. There are even times where I can’t help but let out a little squeal! We’re excited about the continuing changes on our home. The photo below was taken a little while back, but aside from a little paint preparation it looks more or less the same. The intense pace of this summer’s project has slowed down to a more natural progression of working on what ever seems to flow with the day – not to say there is not a lot of work still to do.

I am loving this shift to autumn weather. The crisp cool mornings are beautifully punctuated by what sounds like a thousand song birds. The nights are so quiet now without the sounds of crickets and bullfrogs. And the moon seems so close and so bright. Living a little ways in from the ocean we now have deciduous trees around us, so we are experiencing a more colorful fall than we’ve seen in some time. The baby deer are getting big and the young buck is even sprouting some tiny nubs on his head already.

It’s been a little bit like summer during the afternoons still, so I leave you with a few photos as I head off to enjoy the rest of it. I’ll be back soon.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone!




gone to seed

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