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Shaggy Mane (Coprinus comatus)

Some of my more lucrative walks across town in the past few weeks have had me showing up at home with: nine pears; or a case of beef broth and a handful of chokecherries; or eight plums, an apple (now I know the yards that have apples sweeter than the store), and three shaggy manes. These mushrooms are known to show up in “surprising places”, which is one way of explaining why I couldn’t find them all summer when I was trying. Now, they are here and there, three in a neighbor’s yard four doors down, or one on the lawn of a church. About half of them auto-digest before I get around to cooking them; the rest have tasted good and strong on toast with garlic or fried up with potatoes. It is a statement on the times that, down every block, fruit is falling off trees and rotting on the sidewalk. Add that to our record high of 90 degrees in Bozeman last week, and the reds and yellows of turning leaves, and these feel like golden days indeed.

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