A Fur Hat Raccoon, & an Autumnal Walk in the Park with Monty

I took Monty for a walk in the park early last Sunday morning.

The weather was getting cold, but I wore a wool sweater, wool socks, and gloves and was ready for the cool of the morning. I also wore pants and shoes (of course).

It was good and he had a run about.

As we got down towards the valley entrance, I thought I saw a fur hat laying on the ground. I realized quickly that it was a raccoon, and on closer examination - a living breathing, albeit unconscious or sleeping raccoon. It was a juvenile. Monty sniffed at it but kept his distance, heckles raised. Using a stick, I gently prodded it - thinking it had simply overslept (I am not a trained biologist specializing in the sleep habits of juvenile raccoons). It didn't even blink. It just kept on breathing, heaving its chest every few seconds.

I figured it had either fallen from the tall willow tree above or was sick (or hungover - Saturday night was behind us). I called Toronto Animal Services and 45 minutes later a gruff fellow arrived, manhandled the unresponsive raccoon into a cage and left. I hope that the raccoon got better.

I mused on this for a few minutes and wandered about near the tree line. I then stumbled about my mushroom patch (where several dead tree stumps lay submerged beneath the grass on the verge by the valley - saprophytic mushrooms feast on rotting wood). I found only a single stinkhorn beginning to emerge from its egg.

The Heal-All (Prunella vulgaris) seems pretty tenacious stuff. I've eaten it. It is bitter and strange tasting. Anti-viral and anti-lots of bad stuff, apparently.

In a mini chipmunk hole I found a mini-mushroom beginning to grow. Even chipmunks enjoy mushrooms.

Cheers - hope you're enjoying the cooler weather! My favourite season is upon us - Autumn.


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Updated "Interesting Links" Section & a Lifetime Supply of Canned Bacon

I have updated the 71 blogs and information web sites listed on the right-hand side of my blog, under the "Interesting Links" section (right under the photographs).

Check them out.

If you visit any or all of these sites, you will receive an all expenses paid trip to Bermuda, a $30,000 cheque, a recreational vehicle from RVsrUS, and a life-time supply of canned bacon*.

*offer and cheque only valid if you are my beagle Monty.

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Agaricus arvensis (Horse Mushroom)

The Horse Mushroom (Agaricus arvensis) is a sought-after mushroom related to the button mushrooms that you buy at the supermarket.

On Sunday, I collected a couple of pounds worth growing by a dead tree trunk in a park nearby as I was walking about the neighbourhood with a sleeping baby in his stroller.

Gilled. Big. Pleasant smell. It is one of the 'most delicious edible mushrooms'.

Fry 'em up. Tempura them. Put into soups.

Have with a T-Bone steak.

Enjoy with a Porterhouse steak.

A Rib-Eye steak would accompany some sauted mushrooms well.

And a nice bottle of red wine, methinks.

Anyway. This is my first big find of edible mushrooms this year.

I am hoping to bump into a stump covered in Oyster mushrooms sometime.

I will keep my eyes peeled.

And once I cook a few of these up, I'll report on them.

Don't worry. I've checked and rechecked. I've asked the advice of 2 independent experts who both agree. I have also have my Roger Philips' Mushrooms textbook on my side.

Mungo Says don't ever eat fungus unless you have 100% identified them. Many mushrooms have visual analogues that can be mildy poisonous to deadly poisonous.

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Whittled Wooden Flowers - Bushcraft Carving

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Upcoming Bushcraft Posts - And Wot I 'ave Been Up To

We've been tidying up the house over the last few weeks, and I'm concentrating on the basement where I store all my camping equipment. It is time for some kit admin, and organization.

I will show photos soon, but I have been making some alcohol stoves & built some simple but effective pot stands out of galvanized steel mesh.

My first attempt at net making is going really well! I am using cotton string for now, but I could use some nylon monofilament and give gill netting a try sometime. I would love to try cast netting, but I wouldn't make one, I would buy one instead...

I would use them where legal... of course.

Finally, I have a whole bunch of flowers that I whittled of which I intend to take photos.

Too tired tonight.

Go easy,


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