Mushroom Hunting In a Dry Year

Other than for a 30-second downpour yesterday, this central part of California continues a dry spell that is getting scary. In my main mushroom grove yesterday (Oaks, Bays, Hazelnuts, Redwoods), the leaves were damp. but when you scratched down to the soil, it was dry. Mushrooms are deep down, in hiding. On 2 of my recent forays I was lucky to find one lonely Chantrelle each time. There aren’t even the usual amanita phalloides (death caps) sprouting mernacingly in the Oak leaves. But even if there are no mushrooms, I love being in the woods. I’ve learned to follow faint animal trails. Sometimes when there’s no obvious route, I put myself in the mind of a coyote, or deer, and the way appears. I’m becoming a mushroom hunter, and it is sharpening my awareness of rain and wind and moisture content of soil.

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

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