Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Mystery Agaric, click on picture to enlarge

We found this in a park at the edge of the grass under maple and popluar trees. The largest cap was bigger then a saucer but smaller then a dinner plate and had brown gills.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Today's Mushroom Hunt

We went on a family mushroom hunt today.

We found several different colors of "coral" mushrooms

We found so huge slimey old Russulas

We visted the Lions Mane that we saw on August 30th to see if it had grown enough to harvest.

But as you can see it really has not grown much.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Waiting for the Shrooms

Still waiting for the fall mushrooms to start popping. We found this one in the woods today. It was growing out of a fallen maple tree. The cap is 3.5 inches at it's widest point. Click on the pictures to inlarge them.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Rain Rain It's a Good Thing

It is raining, not too hard but I think it's enough. Enough for what? Mushrooms of course! I hope to start finding chanterelles in a few days. It rained earlier this week but it was a really light rain. Hopefully that last rain combined with today's rain are enough to start the mushroom production.

We had a nice walk around town in the rain today. It was not raining when we started our walk and we did not let the rain cut our walk too short. I was quite surprised when one of my neighbors said we were crazy for being out in the rain.

My reply to her surprising comment was " We're natives."

Is it really such a shocking thing to go for a walk in the rain in an area that gets 60 inches of rain a year? Here you either walk in the rain or you stay indoors for 9 months.

Anyway our walk was quite pleasant. We stopped by the new (and only) Starbucks in town and I treated myself to a drip coffee and a doughnut while the kids drank pop and ate doughnuts. We are not big on junk-food and even drip coffee at Starbucks is expensive so this is not a normal thing for us to do. For some reason our stop at Starbucks really cheered me up, well that and the rain and the beautiful double rainbow we could see from our table.

After I left Starbucks I was feeling so cheerful that I wanted to sing, but alas I don't know any songs about mushrooms and it's not normal in this culture to break out into song on the public streets. Is it normal anywhere? I don't know.

While we were eating at Starbucks I constructed a backpacking stove from one of the kids pop cans. I tested the stove when we got home and it seems to be the best one I have ever made. It brought two cups of water to a boil in 7-8 minutes and kept burning for about 12 minutes using about two tablespoons of HEET.

Mount Rose is still on fire and the burned area has grown to 1,055 acres. A few good hard fall rains should put it out.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

School and Flu Season Starts Again

Yep you guessed it, school has started and we are all sick. Every year it's the same, the first week of September we get sick and we stay sick until winter break. One particularly bad year we stayed sick until spring break. chool has been back in session for three days and I am running a fever and feel like shit. No hiking for me this week.

Mount Rose is still on fire and it has rained but not enough to put out fires or to kick start the fall mushrooms.

There are no plans to open the road below Mount Rose before spring. The only plan is to have an agency look at it in the Spring. That means the Staircase area is going to be closed all winter.

This is a real bummer for me. I'm not sure where I will hike this winter when the snows come. The North Fork Skokomish trail was my favorite winter hike because it is a lowland trail and it is close to home.

The only nearby lowland trail that will be open this winter is the Lower South Fork Skokomish. There is some nice old growth on that trail but it's not the best trail for a wilderness experience. There are not as many mushrooms on the Lower South Fork Skokomish trail. Horses and mountain bikes use the trail and the horses have left behind weed seeds in their poop. The side of the trail is lined with non-native weeds. The middle of the trail is festooned with piles of horse shit.

I've only run into mountain bikers on the trail once and they were very polite folks and I don't see signs of mountain bike damage on the trail. Wish I could say the same for horse folks. Now I really understand the saying "get down off your high horse".

I'm trying to come up with alternatives to hiking the Lower South Fork Skokomish trail over and over and over this winter. I guess my snowshoes will be getting a bit more use and I'll be putting a lot more miles on my car. I'll have to get up earlier to off set the short winter days at this latitiude. But I also have the day care's schedule to think of. If my husband is working I can drop the baby off at 6:30 and have to be back by 3:30. If I have to dive 2 hours to the closest low land trail that leaves only 4 hours for hiking. If my husband is home he can pick up the baby and give me more time to get home.

Hiking is going to be more expensive this year because I have opted to pay $25.00 per day to have the baby go to preschool while I hike. This will be less worrisome for me then having my husband watch her. He's a good man but he is in his words "not very domestic". You ladies know exactly what that means and I don't let him get away with it when I am at home but what can I do when I am out hiking?

If he would quit smoking we could all go hiking together but that's a whole nother subject.

If this post seems disjointed it probably is. I'm running a fairly high fever and need to go back to bed.

Trails that will be closed all winter include:

Olympic National Park Closures

The entrance to the National Park at Staircase is closed. The following trails in the National Park are closed: North Fork of Skokomish River, Wagon Wheel and Staircase Rapids Trails.

Olympic National Forest Closures

The following trails are closed: Mt. Rose, Dry Creek and Copper Creek.

Not mentioned above are the Shady Lane Nature Trial and the Six Stream Trail.