Panier of Plenty


After a night of rain

Bolet bai, slightly slimy

Happily feeding on wet mushrooms

If the earlybird catches the worm, this morning he ate a limace, or
slug, as the forest was wet after rain and mushrooms soaked up the
moisture like sponges.

I am now more adept at finding ‘corners’, secret spots that I know
have all the right elements to produce cèpes. Walking along in the
sunshine there were tiny birds flitting everywhere, and chestnuts
falling audibly as I made my way past a grove, through a pine forest
and then into the beech woods.

An article in the newspaper claims 20,000 varieties of champignons in
our department alone (Langudoc Roussillon), with around 200 being ‘edible’
(comestible) and 200 toxic (veneneux). I have spent hours poring over
guidebooks, taking photos and collecting samples – the mushrooms often
alter colour or form when there has been heavy rain and much ‘attention
to detail’ is required.

Guide – comestible et veneneux

L’Albera, our habitat (Catalan)

Yesterday my panier was heavier, this time from just across the border
in Spain and very close to a dirt road – surprisingly different terrain.
Along with a very fine Cèpe de∫Bordeaux, there were Coulemelles (Lépiote
élevée), ‘Bolet rude’ and a Bolet satan (the only poisonous bolet, which
when cut, turns inky black and exudes a strong odour). It is not possible
to be sure ‘by look alone’ as even the cap had changed colour (from white
to dark brown!) and it resembled another variety.

The panier full

Cèpe de Bordeaux

Bolets rude

Bolet satan?


Drying coulemelles to store

Many more cariolettes, drying

This entry was published on October 26, 2012 at 4:58 pm. It’s filed under Catalan, Climate Change, Country Life, Country Living, Cuisine, Europe, Expat, Food, Forest, France, French Culture, La Vie Quotidienne, Languedoc Roussillon, Leisure, Life, Lifestyle, Mediterranean, Nature, Pyrénées, Rural Life, Seasons, South of France, Spain, Thoughts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Earlybird

  1. mesarapugs on said:

    The cepes de Bordeaux looks very like one we have here. Wow! What a bounty!! And such an evocative lyrical description of your gathering – wonderful and very inspiring!! Sure there are fairies and much magic in that said wood!! x 🙂

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