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Going Wild: Chicken of the Woods

By Patrick Calvert

It’s July!!!

Get on the river! Get in the woods! Get outside!

Here’s some ideas:

The Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower (late July)

Get in a July field, sit on your July butt, and look at the July stars. 

Why? It’s July and there’s no better way to digest s’mores!

[15-20 meteors per hour/waning gibbous moon]

Mush*by God*shrooms!

WV has many shroomy goodies. 

Get excited! These are all found in our local parks and woods:

-Oyster Mushrooms

In our local woods, oysters pop on dead white oak and beech trees where the temperature doesn’t fluctuate too much (think shaded stream banks). They’re up now! 

-Chicken of the Woods

Mmmmmmm… Chicken. 

Thankfully, these ‘shrooms are the color of orange parking cones (and much tastier). 

They sneak up along sides of roads and on dead oak stumps and logs (much like the state tree workers). My best advice is to keep your eyes open, get lucky, and try not to hit one with your car! (*don’t confuse it with Jack o’lanterns or tree workers.)


July is the chanterelle Season for a Reason:

Because it rhymes!

Uggh. Anyways, if you cross a patch of false-gilled orange mushrooms in moist soil with adequate shade and decaying matter, it might be a yummy chanterelle patch. (where there’s one, there’s more!)

[Please don’t be afraid of mushrooms. But also, don’t eat them unless you can cross-reference them with certainty; for your safety and so you don’t accidentally eat a tree worker]. 

“But Patrick… I’m not interested in mushrooms! I wanna swim!”

Go to Blue Bend! 

Blue Bend at Anthony Creek is my favorite July chill spot (not that I would tell you about the others) …

8 Things to Remember:

-Bring water shoes so you can flip over rocks and look for crawdads!

-Bring goggles so you can look at the weird fish! 

-Have a rock-skipping contest!

-Bring a spinner rod/reel for fish! (Advice: go downstream)

-Have another rock-skipping contest (double or nothin’)

-Jump off the big rock and try not to die!

-Look for Reishi mushrooms in the hemlock stands along Anthony Creek

“Patrick, I thought I told you- I’m not interested in mushrooms! I wanna swim!”

-Well, bring a cooler and a floating tube! Duh!

There is so much beauty that this land has to offer. Whatever your adventure- embrace it with an open mind and heart. It will embrace you. It has for me.  

Reach out if you’d ever like to share the beauty with me. I offer guided primitive skills, fishing and foraging outings.

Be safe, be wild, be kind and be free!

Cutline: Patrick Calvert and and last years’ Chicken of the Woods jackpot.

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