In my neck of the woods, January is certainly not the most prolific month in terms of wild edible mushrooms. Snow-covered soil and freezing temperatures aren’t very conducive to ample mushroom activity.
Lately, however, conditions around here have been quite different.
The ground is devoid of snow and temperatures have been mild. As a result, our wild woody decomposers — in particular, the fungi that feed on trees — continue to thrive.
Chief among these winter woody decomposers are our jelly fungi. These mushrooms are unique in that their fruiting bodies can persist for months on a stick, log, or stump in a dehydrated or frozen state… only to rebound during a winter rain or warm spell.
Two fascinating jelly fungi that flourish during the winter season include the world-famous Wood Ear (Auricularia angiospermarum) and the Amber Jelly Roll (Exidia recisa). Both mushrooms are edible and both are often found in abundance… even amongst snow and freezing temperatures.
If you’re interested in foraging these two enticing jelly fungi all year long, check out the video!