Back in the fall of 2011 I started collecting green wood from dump piles around town, and since I kept coming across new species I was soon gathering wood faster than I could use it. In order to keep the green wood from checking before I could mill it or put it on the lathe, I took to stashing it in large plastic trash bags underneath the tables in my shop. Some of that wood is still hanging around, including a section of figured maple that gave birth to this beauty:
My friends Garret and Sarah had come down to the shop for a tour one evening, and as Sarah rounded a table she asked, “Is that a mushroom?” Indeed. It had to have sprung up very quickly, as it would have been difficult for me to miss for more than a day or two.
As much as I love edible wild plants, I’ve always been timid about wild mushrooms. But thanks to the distinctive morphology and complimentary spray of spores, I was able to identify these as Oyster Mushrooms– good eating! I sampled a small section, and after no ill effects proceeded to fry up a plate full the next day. I’d guess that the total weight of the harvest was about three pounds. I gave half of it to my friends (finder’s fee!) and dried the rest for use in soups.