Zip, Nada, Nothing… Skunked
After finding a bunch porcinis a few days ago over near Vail, we decided to hit our favorite spots in the Roaring Fork Valley again today and harvest fresh boletes by the basket full. But, it wasn’t meant to be.
Despite a full 10 days of rain and some hot weather, we didn’t see a single mushroom in our favorite spots. We couldn’t find a puffball, amanita, hawks wing, oyster or LBM (little brown mushrooms), let alone our quarry: the King of Boletes. Arrgh.
The moral of the story here is consistent in mushroom hunting – you cannot out-forage mother nature! Mushrooms grow on their own timeline based on the weather and season. Too dry, too early or too cold dictate results. Every time.
We learned two things on this hunt, both are bummers.
Firstly, Our new truck’s OEM tires don’t cut it and will need to upgraded: The modern forager runs on good tires and it is time for some mudders. We got ourselves into some slippery situations and could have spent the night out in the woods.
Secondly, the damn cows are back. Sometimes ranchers graze their cows in some of our mushrooming spots (the nerve). Often the cows don’t arrive until late August or not at all. Here it is middle of July, and there are cows, and cow sign, all over our favorite areas. Mushrooms do not thrive when they are being trampled by cows!
We think we will give these spots at least a week before we revisit and see how it looks. Realistically, finding porcinis in July is a longshot, and that is the moral of the story.
Here are some pictures from our hunt in the Roaring Fork Valley between 10000 ft and 10500 ft. We took pics some of our known ‘cini spots, so you can see the type of terrain we expect to find them in here. In this area specifically, it tends to be duffy/dry half-sunny openings in the forest or on the edges. Never aspen trees. Always big conifers nearby, but the mushroom may sprout under a much smaller tree.