Saturday, August 22, 2009

Chanterelles, Oh How I Love Chanterelles

I've lived in SW Montana for over 11 years and never found a chanterelle here anywhere in this state until yesterday! I had heard they do grow over in north western Montana around Lolo Pass but I've never been there at what I would expect to be the right time.

Yesterday I decided to go check a spot I've never been to before because I've heard it's a beautiful place and it's "mushroomy". I was amazed, shocked and very pleased to find chanterelles growing all over the place. Wow, what an amazing thing to find after years and years thinking this side of the divide was too dry. Of course this has been one of the wettest summers I can remember here. We almost never get rain in August but this year we've had gully washers. So, the chants seem to really like it...lots of rain then sun breaks and HEAT! Which is what we have now. It's in the 90's as I write this.

The most interesting thing about these chanterelles, and I've found tons and I mean tons in my days of mushrooming, is their vibrant color. The chants I used to pick in California and then in WA and OR are much yellower and these are more of an electric, day glo orange...absolutely gorgeous mushrooms.

It was stifling hot yesterday and Maggie the wonder dog and I had to do quite a bit of walking to find all these. It was funny because you'd walk along for a while and find no chants then come to a huge pocket of them all in one spot.

It was one of the most memorable mushroom hunts I've had in Montana and I will never forget the first chanterelles I ever found here. The most gorgeous of any I've picked anywhere!

And I even found some more beautiful #1 prime Boletus edulis buttons:

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