freedom to keep it local and wild (*rant warning*)

Stlhntr has been on my mind a lot. I didn't know him personally, but he gave a lot to this website and I always admired the relationship he cultivated with his daughter, who is obviously growing up to be a great young lady. He's not the only one we lost in '21, and i'm trying to use those folks as a reminder to be a better person and not take all this shiny 1st world distraction too seriously.

From the forest to the trees:

Seems basic to me to get in my truck, hitch up one of my boats, fuel it anywhere I want in order to get an easy pull through with low stress ice and beer fillup. then I hit the ramp and feel frustrated because it's almost full on a wednesday in December, and 80% of the traffic is commercial of some kind most of the days. I don't begrudge anybody their right to the access points, but it's getting way harder and each interest group has a tendency to prioritize themselves for the resource use. still, we have the extremely good luck of being born free and privileged enough to take our happy asses down there and do what we want with our time, money, and material excess. so i use mine to go places nobody used to go and revel in the peace and quiet. except these days those same spots are being jockeyed over by 4 different charter boats who feel it's correct behavior to slow halfway down with a 4 pack of big dudes on a flats boat. you know, 'cause slowing down halfway and waving helps. at least 5 times in my last 2 trips up a little creek, i've waved back while walking over to push my boat out for the wake that would otherwise toss it up on the mound and probably put some water over the transom at the same time. just hope that some of them noticed and changed their behavior next time.

I get free food out of the deal that costs other folks hundreds of dollars to buy retail. money that they get to use any way they see fit, and they're happy to line up weeks ahead of time to pay a local oysterman that cash. No hard feelings here, just tough to watch the pressure on our resources continue to increase in a big way. Ever see one of those dudes loading up at the ramp with a wetsuit and a 12 pack for his day at work? that's a cool niche in a free market economy, and it sure as hell ain't for the pale.

Those folks paying $400+ to go push a flat with 20 nearby strangers so they have some cool phone shots of their red drum and stories they'll tell all their friends? no hard feelings here, let's just keep it civil and share information instead of middle fingers over perceived slights. it's a tragedy of the commons, we have to be better people and realize this freedom doesn't get any better unless we all agree on how to use it.

OTC talks about fistfights at lowes and frustrated people doing damage to their gear at the ramp. i don't do new years resolutions, but even before the bad news about Stlhntr, I was trying to use the sadness and loss as motivation to make things better for myself and the rest of us who are lucky enough to wake up and chose how to enjoy our freedom and privilege each day.

I didn't come close to shooting a deer this year, i have 2 packs of fish in my freezer, and '21 was one of the most busy and stressful years of my life. I've got goals for this year that I hope to realize. I think the biggest one is just being better at slowing down and being thankful for what i already have.

i guess i've been around home a lot the last two weeks, i'm rambling. end of story is I already had a couple buckets of mostly prime singles in the fridge and 2 huge bunches of collards to stew yesterday, and then i drove past a chicken of the woods near my house that i already knew of that had just flushed again. go home and get the ladder, hoping somebody doesn't grab it before i get back (yes, that happened last week). 25' up a tree and barely comfortable. knife in hand, i reach around the scar on the big old live oak and can't even see the mushroom yet. one rung on the extension ladder to go, and i realize what i'm holding onto is rotten wood with a yellowjacket crawling over it. my first thought was "be cool man, Stlhntr wouldn't flinch, right?". no yellowjacket nest, just the one lone ranger who flew away without wondering too hard why this dude was up a tree in his face. last rung of the ladder, find solid wood to hold, i pirate this mushroom like a swashbuckling badass with a stainless SOG in my teeth. get home and surprise daughter with it, i'm the hero of the day. straight in the pan while cooking the collards in the pot. steam oysters in another pan. simple, but life doesn't get much better.

i wrote this mostly to remind myself, but if you read this far, thanks.... it's almost kickoff time for week 17, so i'm gonna go visit the spot where i buried one of my best friends years ago and pour the first sip of beer out for him as i always do. RIP Sam

be good to each other, y'all

another place where stlhunr the mycophile would've already stepped in.

Fred, they're not that rare i guess, but as previously noted they tend to grow on open scars on older trees. i think they're more common along roadways because those trees take a lot of pruning and other kinds of damage. best oyster mushroom tree i've ever known was a beaten up water oak that was within a couple years of being completely dead, i harvested it for 2 or 3 years every December before it got taken out. wish i'd have known that was happening, i would have arranged to get the trunk. I had the man's permission to pick it, he's a commercial crabber. he implored me a bunch of times to check and double check an ID book because he didn't want to be partially responsible for me poisoning myself. I did some like portobello caps, marinated and grilled with provolone and sprouts on a bun. i imagine for people who don't eat meat, that's like the holy grail of sandwiches.

when i found that chicken mushroom a few weeks back, it was the second one in two days so i started looking real hard. found two others that were way past their prime because I hadn't been looking hard before, but now I know where they live!
if you know, then you know.

shout out to the people of this town for being cool AF, even when s*** gets thick.
I've frequented that establishment several times. Dang fine products in there.

"Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality." --Peepod 07-25-2017
Is it too late to find good chicken of the woods?

"Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality." --Peepod 07-25-2017
i don't think they come out after a freeze, but i could be wrong. i know oyster mushrooms don't care, seen some in a partially frozen wood duck hole in january a few years back.
I did, but didn't know it was you and your family. Good stuff. Sorry I missed you this trip, but I've been a little "under the weather" so to speak.

Next time for sure.......glad bun bun found her way home.

The oysters were a big hit by the way.

Last week when I was down in the low country one of the guys found this, its a Lions Mane. They are around now, and if you are lucky enough to find one of these, well, you are lucky enough. Look close around the fungi (especially 18 inches below it) before getting too close with just a knife

So anyway, the lions mane pairs really well with suckling pig and a slightly chilled Marlboro Sauvignon Blanc, but that my friends is a thread for another day.

EF Out

I'll have to look for lion's mane in my woods soon.

Long live Bunbun!

"Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality." --Peepod 07-25-2017
I found an old stump on St. Helena Island that has the white mushrooms pictured by Barbawang. Not sure if I want to eat them, but if anyone wants to know where they are PM me.