Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Autum is coming! Colours mushrooms and gastronomy. Last photos

12 september 2014 Aribe ( Aezkoa valley)
 The arrival of autumn is anticipated by migratory birds, many of which have already taken their way  to the south to warmer climates with more food than there is for them in this land for the next months. It is  for common house Martins (Delichon urbicum) that meet every year at a certain point, in every town, and decide to start the long trip to sub-Saharan Africa.

And by the way I will comment that this painted wall corresponds to Trigolimpio, an association of  local farmers dedicated to market their organic meat of pony, beef and lamb from our Pyrenean valleys who lives in fabulous condition which we can see if we go to the higlands of Irati, and the sale reverts entirely in them, without intermediaries, enabling the survival of the livestock on these lands. I encourage you to taste it.

As you can see in the following photo, the colors of Irati take to come yet, and as usual, about 1 month, which is not to say that the forest is not pretty.
The warm temperatures, lack of consistent rain, the subsequent lack of wind, and it's still early, makes the leaf fall does not arrive.

Irati near from  Orbaizeta old munition factory , 26  september 2014

Orbaizeta 12 october:

I  add you some photos to look the colour of the forest. They already have more color, but there are still lots of green. My forecast is still for the last week of October, first of November.

 Aezkoa valley, from Orbaizeta,  1km to Irati

View of the Ori  mountain (Salazar valley,) from Orbaizeta (Irati south west)

Beeches and Scotch brooms (Cytisus scoparia)

Hygroscopic earthstarAstraeus higrométricus)

5  november

The rain and cold, and because we are in the middle of the autum, they are favoring the final color changement. On the summits from 1200 meters,we can begin seeing the snow, and the color of the forest has increased very much. In the valleys we have still up to 40% green.
If you come this weekend, you will find it quite nice, and probably will not last much longer.

Olaldea /Garralda Oak forest, few kilometres to the south of Irati
The mountains further south, riches in different  species of trees have started earlier with the change of the colour that we expected in the beech forest.

 Arpea Cave ( Garazi/ Cize Valley)
This year the highlands of Irati are not so dry as is usual in other years , and they has continuously been sprouting grass. we can see in the photo the  Arpea cave, that looking the green hues (I have not retouched the photo ) seems spring.

Mushrooms have been a shy presence due to the high temperatures and lack of moisture, butspecies like the  Amanitas  seems get very well.

Fly amanita (Amanita Muscaria)
A mushroom consumed in Navarra, but not for all people, is the Galanperna or parasol mushroom, which has sprout abundant in meadows and beech forests, but in drier places did not be in existence for long before  dry as cardboard.

You can see the size of this item, it´s big like a hat:

Parasol mushroom  (Macrolepiota procera)
 I told you...

As big as a hut..

With the rut this year we had something similar; although normal in other years was to start around 15 September, this year has been delayed a lot, and it was not until earlier this week, on Monday 20, Tuesday 21, which has not begun to hear and low intensity and duration.

But what most people are waiting for is the begining of mushroom season. 
The boletus edulis, or Porcini, onddo beltza called here, have not yet come out in significant number, but  many months we started harvesting other types of mushrooms, such as Sweet tooth  or Tripaki  (Hydnum repadnum), the horn of plenty (Cratarellus cornucopioides), or  the  Zizahori or Chanterelle,(cantharellus cibarius), among others.

Obviously, there are also toxics, mortals and indigestibles, and that makes (and they do well) that many people  they dont catch species  unknowns.
What is best in my opinion, is to go slowly, expanding knowledge and continue to consume only those which are safe, but now some of them more.

 Therefore, every Saturday afternoon in October, we offer guided tours to the mountains, where we will see many things as usual, but also we will pick,mushrooms, goods and not edible specimens, later to classify them according to some simple keys  of  GARRAPO,company, and then have dinner every Saturday at a different restaurant in the valley, prepared differently, and all for a fixed price of € 40 + VAT. 

They will be small groups of no more than 10 people, because is a lot of work to clean and cook the mushrooms almost the same time that we  give they.
 Places are still available for the 4 Saturdays, so I encourage you!


v  4 october PARDIX Restaurant  (Orbaizeta) 948 76 60 01

v  11 october  ARIBE Hotel Restaurant (Aribe) 948 76 44 66

v  18 october  HERRIKO OSTATUA Bar (Garralda) 618 10 73 79

v  25 october   SARIGARRI inn (Abaurrepea) 948 76 90 61

The company GARRAPO are friends and managers of the mycological Ultzama Park whose magnificent web I recommend you,  ,

With them I did last year a training course to complete the knowledge I already had beforehand, because when I was  I went going with my family  in many times to take  mushrooms.

 Finally, I will commentyou something about the fascinating world of fungi;
The photo  that you have below is the Armillaria ostoyae, somewhat old. It is a fungus that can be  a pest because  rot the healthy wood ,It is edible, although here there are no custom of eating.
The amazing thing about this fungus, and probably many others, is that in Oregon (USA), there is a clonal colony of this fungus, and at the moment, is the largest known organism with more than 890 hectares and 2400 years old. 
Do not imagin a typical mushroom out ground.Is the mycelium, like the roots, going underground among the roots of trees.

Armillaria ostoyae in Irati

Lactarius piperatus

The strange mushroom ( Phragmobasidiomicetes?)

Charcoal burner or Gibelurdina (Russula Cyanoxantha)