Northern Michigan Foraging

We Came, We Hunted

Today we spent a few hours foraging in Northern Michigan. We started at the beach looking for Petoskeys, a rare rock unique to this part of Lake Michigan. OK, so, we get it – finding rocks on the beach is not foraging. But as an activity, it is darn close! We discovered nearly a pound of Petoskeys at an elevation of 630ft on a West facing beach near Frankfort, Michigan. Clearly with all this rain we have had this year, they were out early!

Out of curiosity, what is your definition of foraging? We like a healthy debate!

On a more serious note – after we left the beach, we poked into the forest next to the road, pretty much because we couldn’t help ourselves. Guess what we found right near the car? A big flush of Golden Chanterelles. We were so excited! They were growing just 30 feet off the road in a forest with oaks, maples, conifers and beech all mixed together. They were probably only 100 yards from the sandy beach. And, if that wasn’t enough, we found a few Hedgehogs too. We spent an hour doing a “perimeter check” of the whole area and did not find any more, just that one patch. We did see pounds and pounds of oyster mushrooms, which especially liked old dead beech trees. They were a bit long-in-the-tooth so we left them.

On the way home our obsession got the best of us and we stopped and picked some blueberries from some feral bushes nearby. Unfortunately, it was a bit early and the bushes where loaded with immature blueberries. We only picked a pint or two of tart berries… the blueberries need a few more days.

After we got home and cleaned up our mushrooms, we were surprised to find that about half of our chanties had bugs. We have never seen that in Colorado, but apparently in the Midwest there is a small bug that will sometimes eat chanterelles. Other than that, they looked very close to their Colorado brethren, and, if anything they even smelled more ‘apricoty’ and earthy! After we threw out the bad mushrooms we still had about a pound of them left.

 

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