Down the hill from our garden is a mist.  You can see that it’s starting to be autumn:


Look what my wife found:


She saw them on the way home, after collecting the goats from the reservoir, and put them in her pocket.  In the autumn our hillside is like an anthill;  hundreds of people come up here carrying small baskets, combing the woods for fungi.  Some have their own secret place to look.  We have a couple of spots we like to think of as our own, though often someone else gets there first.  Then we continue on hopefully, and we aren’t usually entirely disappointed.  My wife’s trick was to venture on to private property, to boldly go where no myco-gastronomist had gone before.  She found them nestled beside the gateway to our neighbour’s farm.  We had them fried in butter, with steak.

Earlier in the week we went mushroom hunting with some expert friends and found lots of these:


They seem insignificant.  They are trakt (i.e. funnel) kantereller, a small but very strongly-flavoured chanterelle that is known in English as Yellow Foot, or Yellow Stem, in German as Trompetenpfifferling, in French as Chanterelle en tube and in Russian as лисичка желтеющая.  If read knows the Mongolian name or anyone the Spanish or Italian, I will put those (and any others, of course.  Be the first on your block to know the Wolof word for лисичка желтеющая, Trompetenpfifferling in Twi).  The funnel goes down through the stem, ‘trumpet’ is a good description.  I’m sorry the picture’s a bit fuzzy.

What I’m hoping to find, and I know they are here somewhere, is steinsopp, or porcini. According to Wikipedia, they have ‘a symbiotic relation with conifers’, so they ought to be around.  I’m not a very good mushroom spotter, though.  My friend Jon-Petter, the expert, wears his reading glasses to search.