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Chicken of the Woods

2 Jul

My son has a thing for mushrooms.  He has spent quite a bit time reading about them, and last year he started foraging for them.  He brought me a bunch of morels to prepare and preserve for him.  This year, he brought me more mushrooms to prepare for him.

He added some half-free morels and even a pheasant back mushroom.  I have to tell you, it smells like watermelon.  Seriously.

I did decide after frying all of those mushrooms that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make some delicious gravy.

As a vegetarian, I hardly ever have the makings for good brown gravy like when I was a kid.

It was delicious.  Anyhow, all of my son’s interest in mushrooms has me paying a bit closer attention.  Last week, when I was out making sure all the kids were with their moms in pasture, I saw a bright orange spot on my tree.  Closer inspection revealed this fun guy.

Chicken of the Woods

I sent the picture to my son and asked if he wanted it, and he told me yes; it was called chicken of the woods.  He stopped by on his way home, and we took the ladder out to pasture.  I held it while he climbed up and cut it off the tree.

I did some investigating on how to prepare it and consulted with some facebook friends, and finally I decided to bread it and deep fry it.  I did double dip in the flour and egg/milk pans to get it completely coated before putting it in the cracker crumbs.

I was a bit skeptical of it really tasting like chicken, but you know what.

It does.  It was pretty good.

I even made mine into a sandwich, and it was good.

I have the rest of it prepared and frozen because it’s supposed to be easy to store that way.

Now I hope I find more of them.

Wings

30 Jun

I am really enjoying the birds this summer.  You know there’s going to be bobolink pictures.

bobolink

Yep.  There were two males engaged in a little territory spat.

The juvenile eastern meadowlark was out there.

eastern meadowlark

The fritillary was enjoying the flowers in pasture.

fritillary

I noticed this nest of barn swallows.

Two days later when I went out, this little one was sitting on the floor beneath the nest.  After a couple of pictures, s/he flew off.

barn swallow

It looks like the rest of them are about ready to fly away too.

The recent rains have made it easy for the butterflies, including the admiral below, to find a drink.

admiral butterfly

I also saw a red-tailed hawk being mobbed by the blackbirds.

red-tailed hawk and red-winged blackbird

I captured my first black swallowtail of the season.

Lots of things flying around out there!

Queen of the Rock

27 Jun

Addie was pretty proud of herself for taking possession of the rock.

Addie on the rock; Gill and Coral walking to the right

It almost looks like she’s challenging Gill to try and get up there with her.

Will he try it?

Gill

Of course he will.  He’s a goat.

It didn’t last long though.

Addie is queen of the rock!