Hens of the (Monadnock) Woods

119_1957_JFR.jpgA friend took us around the Monadnock region today, showing us how to spot Hens of the Woods. All of the mushroom gathering that we’ve been doing has been in our own woods or on Mushroom Walks sponsored by our local club. But it seems that Hens hang out at the base of fairly old, mostly oak, majestic trees.

So we went into the centers of lots of little towns, to big cemeteries in the area, and even up and down some main streets. It’s fairly easy to spot oak trees right now, because all of the other trees are at peak, basically, and the oaks have yet to go, so their leaves are all still green. So I’d drive along fairly quickly until I’d spot the green leaves on big trees along the edge, then slow to a crawl.

The biggest one we found was gigantic. It took four or five large paper bags to contain it. Hens are delicious fresh, but we also dry them because you just can’t use them quick enough fresh.

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