The white matsutake are making this a really fun and exciting time of year! Check out this next image.  Maybe you find that exciting or maybe you don’t?

forest life; matsutake-2014nov29-1

Tricholoma magnivelare

Did you spot my quarry?

I’ll get a little closer. That one is actually easier than most of them.

forest life; matsutake-2014nov29-2

Tricholoma magnivelare

How about now? Its right there in the middle of things — peeking out.
Let’s move some of those leaves.

forest life; matsutake-2014nov29-3

Tricholoma magnivelare

How about now? Clearly that is what I am after even if it shows just a bit of white.

It’s definitely a matsi. Let’s uncover it.

forest life; matsutake-2014nov29-4

Tricholoma magnivelare

Aw! I got here too late. The veil has already broken.

forest life; matsutake-2014nov29-5

Tricholoma magnivelare

It is a beautiful looking mushroom but not even close to being a number one. I should have found it a day or two ago (when I was at this same spot).

There’s another one. How did I miss that! I must have partially uncovered it with my foot just now.

forest life; matsutake-2014nov29-b1

Tricholoma magnivelare

That looks better.

forest life; matsutake-2014nov29-b2

Tricholoma magnivelare

Not as big but at least it’s a number one.

forest life; matsutake-2014nov29-b3

a number one Tricholoma magnivelare

   It was a good year for white matsutake here in Mendocino County even if abundance meant they were not worth picking to sell. I heard buyers in Oregon were giving $4 a pound and that retail prices in Japan had dropped to something like $400US a kg. Risking my neck on sketchy slopes with duffy and loose-gravel footing for what might this year be averaging $12-16 an hour sure is a crazy thought. I’d rather do it for fun, take it slow, and enjoy some great meals. Besides they freeze great once cooked.

This was the first find of this year. I was too excited to leave all of the leaves intact before taking a photo. That is a typical habitat for them around here, heavy duff under tan-oak and huckleberries.

forest life; matsutake-2014nov23-1

Tricholoma magnivelare

forest life; matsutake-2014nov23-2

Tricholoma magnivelare

Some nice number ones. Some are tiny but they don’t reattach and grow so  all were cooked.

forest life; matsutake-2014nov23-3

Tricholoma magnivelare

I hope that your mushroom hunting this season goes as well or better!