Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fresh Shittakes

I just went out and picked some fresh Shittakes from my white oak log. Inoculating this log; was one of the best garden projects I have done. I is really nice to have mushrooms, readily available. Especially during a dry year, when wild mushrooms are scarce.

I had Oyster Mushrooms on a yellow poplar stump. I probably got about 30 pounds of mushrooms each year, for 7-8 years from that stump. It finally disintegrated a couple of years ago.

Ma & Pa Shiitake Mushroom Log Kit with Shiitake Sampler Cookbook
10" Shiitake Mushroom Log with the Shiitake Sampler Cookbook

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

West Virginia Youth Small Game Season-October 2, 2010

West Virginia will have a special youth; Small Game Hunting Season on October 2, 2010. All youths under the age of 15, must be accompanied by a licensed adult 21 years old or older. hunters between 15 & 17 must comply with all licensing requirements. Migratory game birds may not be taken, during this one day season. Be sure to check with the WVDNR for more information.

Outer Banks Surf Fishing School

Joe Malat’s Outer Banks Surf Fishing School will offer two sessions at the Comfort Inn South in Nags Head, North Carolina. The nationally recognized school, now in its seventeenth year, features a full day of classroom instruction plus one and a half days of fishing and instructional sessions on the beaches of Cape Hatteras. School sessions are September 30 through October 3 and October 14 through 17.

Tuition is $295.00 per person and covers all classroom materials, including an autographed copy of the just released second edition of Malat’s popular book, Surf Fishing, Catching Fish From the Beach, lunch during the classroom day, an evening social, door prizes, and all bait for the fishing sessions. The school is limited to a maximum of 25 participants, and everyone receives a “goody bag” filled with product samples. School sponsors are Daiwa, Betts, Eagle Claw, Sea Striker and Phase II Lures.

School participants will learn how to catch fish in the surf through a unique blend of classroom and “on the beach” sessions, taught by Joe Malat and Mac Currin. The school is an interesting and exciting introduction to surf fishing, and an opportunity to learn tips and techniques from two experienced local pros who will show them how to catch more fish from the beach.

Fish identification, proper selection of rods, reels, and terminal tackle, fishing with lures and bait, knot tying, reading the beach, fish cleaning, casting techniques, beach driving, cast netting and much more will be covered.

“This school is geared toward beginners who want to learn the basics of surf fishing, but we cover so much information that experienced surfcasters will take away valuable information and increase their skill in the surf,” Malat said.

For additional information about Joe Malat’s Outer Banks Surf Fishing Schools visit or call Joe Malat (252) 202-4189 or Mac Currin (919) 881-0049.

16102 Lime Grove Court 941.639.8945

Punta Gorda, Florida 33955 252.202.4189

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Simple Things

We often find ourselves dreaming to pursue rare and exotic things. In reality, many of the best things are right under our noses. We rarely take the time to appreciate everyday things. As is often said, " Stop and Smell the Roses".

We are in such a rush, that we never have the time for the appreciation of nature's wonders.

I ask; what is more common than a burr plant? You cannot deny that the Common Burdock (Arctium minus) makes a pretty good picture.

You've never taken the time to notice; have you?

Migrating Warblers

Anyone, who is interested in adding birds to checklists should be outside right now. Fall migrations are well underway for many species. Numerous species of warblers can be found at this time. Each morning  brings in the possibility of new birds. I have Tennessee Warblers (Vermivora peregrina) and Black-throated Green Warblers (Dendrocia virens) in my yard this morning. You never know what you will find. I have a Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus) outside in a Pokeberry tangle. This is the first Hermit Thrush that I have ever seen, on this property. Do yourself a favor and take your binoculars for a morning stroll and enjoy.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Honey Mushrooms

Honey Mushroom

 The Honey Mushroom (Armillaria sp.) is a common fall mushroom. It occurs on decaying wood. This mushroom is poisonous when raw, but is edible after it has been well cooked. I believe this photo is of the Ringless Honey Mushroom (A. tabescens). Three different species are found in our area.

Before gathering any wild mushroom for consumption; make sure that you know what you are getting. The best reference that I have found, for our region is "Mushrooms of West Virginia and the Central Appalachians" by William C. Roody. This mushroom is a serious forest pathogen. Wood which has been permeated by the mycelium of this fungus, produce the luminescens which are known as "Foxfire".

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mast Report

Chestnut Oak
Wildlife in the High Virginia's had a tough go last winter. They had almost no help from our mast producers. this was topped off with heavy, lingering snow, with an underlayer of ice.  This made it real hard for critters to survive. My personal observations have been that the turkeys, while having a tough time in the highlands, fared better than the deer. There is good news for those who survived. Food will be available for consumption during the fall and winter season.

White Oak and Chestnut Oak acorns are plentiful, Red Oak supplies are good at most locations. Scarlet Oak is spotty and I haven't found alot of Beech. Wild Black Cherry and Grapes seem to be plentiful and there are alot of Apples at several locations. Hickory dosen't appear adbundant, but most trees have nuts.

There are alot of people who's wildlife food concerns are based on the price of corn. A plentiful mast crop will make for alot of people sitting around, staring at mouldy corn-piles. Too many, have never learned to hunt natural food supplies. It is my hope that those who belong to the WV Master-Baiters Society, will have a long and boring season.
Wild Grapes
Sadly, in the area of northwestern Randolph County where I live and used to hunt; about the only oak trees left, are in people's yards and along the roadsides. The ditches are full of acorns, this will allow the groundhogs to fatten up, so that the clear-cut dwelling coyotes will have something good to eat.

Looking ahead; as I am sitting on my deer stand in the high mountains on opening day, I hope to hear little shooting from the corn-pile bottoms and once again, actually see deer in the woods.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Shittake Mushrooms

It is no secret that High Virginia is dry. This dosen't make for good wild mushroom gathering conditions. I have yet to see an Oyster Mushroom. Shaggy Manes are a few weeks away, if they make an appearance. Mushroom collecting in our region was dismal at best in 2010.
I did have an ace in the hole and most importantly remembered to play it. I innoculated some white oak limbs with Shittake plug spawn a few years ago. Last weekend, I soaked one of the limbs in water for 2 days. The mushrooms should be ready by the weekend.

They will probably go well with some venison steaks.

10" Shiitake Mushroom Log with the Shiitake Sampler Cookbook

Friday, September 17, 2010

Osprey Migration

The Osprey migration is underway in High Virginia. Be sure to check out dead trees along your favorite waterways. September and late April are the most productive times to view this large bird of prey in our area.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

September Streams

Have you noticed that stream side parking areas are vacant ? I know you aren't thinking of fishing in September, but maybe you should. You may receive an enlightening experience.

I stopped by the local river this morning; not expecting to see much. This particular area is normally fished pretty hard and it is rare; if a fish is released to swim again. There were 7 smallmouths at the edge of a rock bar. All of them appeared to be in excess of sixteen inches.

On September 2, I stopped at a popular springtime fishing area. I never thought that this stretch of water was capable of trout survival, in the summer months. I counted eleven trout; browns, rainbows, stocked brook and one native brook trout. These were all in one stretch of water about 20 yards long. Three of the trout were actively feeding. This observation really surprised me. There were more trout present at this location than the bass, which I was expecting to find.

The low, clear waters of September allow you to see what really swims in your favorite waters. Fish tend to be concentrated and visible. A stealthy approach is required and you may be surprised at what you will find.

Get out and enjoy the September waterways, don't just sit around and let the migrating Ospreys have all of the fun.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Music Review/Jamey Johnson-Good Stuff

I spend alot of time on the road and can barely stand to listen to the radio. Senseless dribble and sugar pop country music are not appealing. Classic rock; I've heard it all, a thousand times. It seems to me that music died as we entered the 80's. During the last few decades there have been a few bright spots; very few.

I was living in Alabama in 1990; one day, I heard the tail-end of a song on 92.3 Montgomery. It took me a few more weeks to find out who it was singing "Put Some Drive In Your Country", I then bacame a fan of Travis Tritt. Mary Stuart soon followed on my short list of favorites. "This One's Gonna Hurt You" is one of my all-time favorites. I always eagerly anticipated Travis and Marty's newest releases. Until; I happened to see a video of Travis Tritt doing a song about travelling from Johnson City, TN to Richmond and they showed he and some pretty girl driving through the desert among many cacti. That was Travis' end for me.

For me, it has been pretty much a whole lot of WAYLON, with a few others thrown in. I heard "The Dollar" a few years ago and the voice caught my attention. I heard "In Color" on the radio one day and the voice caught my ear again. I bought "The Dollar" and "That Lonesome Song". I normally purchase about 2 CD's per year. "The Dollar" is good, but "That Lonesome Song" is outstanding. I have become a Jamey Johnson fan.

Most of the music that I enjoy, was available on eight-tracks. So, I usually don't get excited about the new stuff. I am eagerly awaiting the release of Jamey Johnson's "The Guitar Song" on September 14th, 2010. I'm sure that you and I will not be disappointed with this double cd. Did I mention that Jamey's cds are not the usual 30 minute rip-offs, there is some substance to them.

Do your ears a favor and get "The Guitar Song" now. You can pre-order from this page. If you like real-quality country music, you can find it, with this selection. Enjoy.

That Lonesome Song                   


This One's Gonna Hurt You

Ghost Train (The Studio B Sessions)
Live at the Ryman

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Butterfly of the Month/September-Monarch

What other butterfly could be considered for September ? The Monarch (Danaus plexippus) is the logical choice. This winged wonder is highly visible, while making its way to wintering grounds in the mountains of central Mexico. This instinctive journey is one of nature's wonders. 
This  migration is amazing; because this adult butterfly has never before made this journey. This butterfly you see in September is most likely headed to the Sierra Madre Mountains, where the hibernate by the millions. In the spring, the emerging butterflies reproduce on their northward journey; replenishing the species, into southern Canada, by summers' end. Then the southerly migration begins, as autumn nears.
Most of us are familiar with the distinctive caterpillar of the milkweeds. The larvae feed, until ready to preform a J-shaped hanging quiver. This suspended caterpillar forms a chrysalis. The adult emerges from this chrysalis and the cycle is repeated.

The September Monarch is truly a winged-wonder.

Monarch Butterfly   Monarch and Milkweed Monarch Magic!: Butterfly Activities & Nature Discoveries (Williamson Kids Good Times!(Tm).)

monarch canvas prints

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Chicken of the Woods-Tomorrows' Meal

These Chicken of the Woods mushrooms were photographed on the morning of September 1. I am going to pick them tomorrow morning Sept. 3rd. They will be simmered in garlic and olive oil and will be topped with a nice juicy Brandywine. Kind of makes you want to drool dosen't it?

The Complete Mushroom Book: Savory Recipes for Wild and Cultivated Varieties