Where a birch does plant its roots,
should you stroll in winter boots;
for there you’ll find the Chaga soul,
black as night and glowing gold.
-Old Chaga Proverb
Not yet deep enough to beckon the use of snow shoes, the forest’s dusty white blanket provided just enough cover for all of her cold-hardy fungi to pop easily into sight. Though our eyes were set on the black and gold Chaga mushrooms found high in the abundantly growing birch trees of Northern Michigan, we were also blessed to find plenty of Birch Polypore, Artist Conk and beautifully frozen orange jelly fungi.
This was an especially cool adventure because a few months back a reader of F&F emailed to ask a question, and when it turned out that she lived close to where we live, we decided we would meet up one day for some mushroom fun. After a long while of emailing back and forth, a small group of us from Northern Michigan finally met up with her and her friend’s from the UK who had never gone foraging for Chaga before. It was a wonderful day and we were all able to go home with a bountiful of forest-grown medicine.
Thank you to all the organisms who helped to produce these gifts! And I hope that we were able to spread a little #FungaLove and inspiration for all of you mycophiles to go adventuring in the woods this winter too 😉
Be well & bemushroomed,
Mara Fae and Nicole McCalpin