The End of Summer

The calendar says we only have a week before orientation week starts for the incoming freshman class at Gutenberg. It is hard to believe that summer is just about over. As usual, I only got a fraction of the things accomplished that I had hoped to over the summer.

While I have to admit that it is mostly by the calendar that I tell the passing of the summer, there are still a few natural events that mark the change of seasons for my family and me. One event marking the transition between summer and fall is the return of rain to the Oregon Coast Range. For many people, this is not a welcomed event. It means months of rain with little or no sunshine. For my family, it is an anticipated event: The return of the rain means chanterelles!

About a month ago, we got a thunderstorm that dumped a couple of inches of rain on the dry coastal hill slopes. That began the awakening. The last week or so we have gotten another couple of inches. Today was our first journey in search of these golden mushrooms. Even though it was raining, my sons, Andrew and Dylan, and I decided to have a look. Our anticipation level was high. Last September we got very little rain, and we were able to collect only a handful of Chanterelles during the entire fall. We headed out to a favorite spot, and within a few minutes we began to spot them.

In about an hour, we decided to call it quits because we were getting soaked through and we had enough for our first venture.

Most of the mushrooms are still small. They will get larger during the next few months.

On Sunday, my wife, Susie, prepared our first sautéed mushrooms of the year. This is an event that definitely marks the passing of summer. For us, fall is officially here, and with each of the coming rainstorms there will be more chanterelles to gather.


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