|This should be prime time for coastal mushrooms, but itís not
The Sportsmanís Report
Things are moldy, soggy and cold, so this should be prime time for mushrooms on the coast.
Last Saturday, it was not. Six first-time foragers joined me in a day of combing the coastal forest for edibles. And although the cathedral of tall, dark trees, the solitude and quiet of Salt Point State Park was awe-inspiring, the mushrooms were hardly there.
Apparently, the heavy rains last month coupled with the unusual cold have kept our fungal friends sleeping. We did find enough tiny hedgehogs to make a pound or two at the end of the day – hardly enough to go around for wild mushroom omelets.
One indicator of a delayed season was the number of prime candy caps, l. fragilis. These little beauties are usually all done by Christmas, yet there they were.
Another indicator of a delayed mid-winter season is the lack of black trumpets and yellow-foot mushrooms. In a “normal” year, they are up in big numbers in January. I hope this will develop into just a delayed season and not one of spotty production.
One thing about being a sportsman, you gotta go with what nature dishes up. Otherwise, keep shopping at Safeway for your wild boar, venison and exotic mushrooms.
Or just watch football for hours and hours and eat high-fat snacks.
The fishing front is still recovering from the rains. The San Francisco Bay should be clearing up and bass, sturgeon and clams are all waiting to feast on your offerings.
With hunting down to wild boar and the tail end of duck season, our thoughts turn to clam digging the late winter tides.
Surf smelt are also a late winter, early spring sport fish that is very cool.
The International Sportsmen’s Exposition in Sacramento is this weekend, Jan. 10-13. There is so much stuff it’ll take more than three days to see it all.
Some highlights are Zip-lines for adrenaline junkies and Dock Dogs for dog lovers. Very small children love watching this sport Dock Dogs.
Also, there will be archery for beginners on the extensive menu. It is an inexpensive family day. Most of the 600 exhibits are indoors, so rain or shine it will be fun. Exhibits, lectures, outdoor family skills, fishing, hunting, gear and lots of dogs are just a few of the fun things to see. Check it out on the web: http.www.sportsexpos.com.
Bill Hanson is a Sonoma County native and a lifelong sportsman. He is the former president of the Sonoma County Mycological Association. Look for his column in The Community Voice each week.