INDIANA CAN HAVE THE PUBLICITY
I started growing - or rather attempting to grow - hiratake mushrooms sort of as a lark, a few years ago, as detailed here. I'd found the spore on sale, had a few oak sections available, thought I'd give it a try but didn't expect much, given my experience with other sorts of exotic mushroom varieties; plus, being in sync with dozens of shiitake logs all over the place for all these years, these mushrooms would provide but a drop in the bucket, if indeed anything at all made it into the bucket.
So far I've learned that hiratake fruit just after the shiitake have finished, at least up here in this ecolocale, and even though I got some sterling hiratake last year, the oak sections soon looked like they'd been coopted by shelf fungi, so I had by degrees begun giving up on the hiratake agenda. Thus it was that I 'forgot' to check the logs under their cover of leaves, twigs and burlap.
Then a few days ago I entered the jungle of my garden and headed along the ancient path toward where legend had it that some old logs had been sequestered under forest debris, plus some older cover; upon exposing the logs, I found that one log had done nothing, as expected, but that the other had sprouted half-heartedly about a week before, so such mushrooms as there were were no longer prime, but even subprime hiratake are a gourmet experience, so we enjoyed them. But I figured that this year was the last gasp of an amateur effort. I had learned some stuff, and might try again with some other varieties, maybe get some a couple years down the road.
So I forgot once more about checking any further until a couple of days ago when I chanced upon familiar signs of an ancient mushroom tomb and decided, albeit pointlessly, to look once more, see if the other log had done anything. I pulled back the cover from the unproductive sections and saw there amidst the crumbly dun of the forest debris the most beautiful fronds of graduated pearl-gray mushrooms cascading down in lifeglowing perfection that I have ever seen.
No treasure hunter has ever felt more awe. Well, Indiana Jones might have come close for the first milliseconds of beholding that golden idol he had expected to find, but the gorgeousness of this natural radiance, shining there amidst the the dull matte of leaves, twigs, burlap and duff where nothing at all had been expected, I think puts me a few paces ahead of that intrepid movie character, plus there was no curse on my discovery. And as to the deliciousness, I got the better deal. Indiana can have the publicity.