Friday, October 24, 2014

The Golden Chanterelle

The rain and slugs are a constant reminder that the Pacific Northwest has a reputation to uphold.  With more rain in the forecast, we take advantage of the cheerful forecast "Partly Cloudy."  

Before leaving the pugs for the afternoon, I take them for a walk around the campground and wander down a road that is closed for the season.  The dogs spot a salamander, and it is all I can do to stop them from mashing it into the ground with their faces.  

The pugs and I are all alone on a road nobody comes down, and I see yet another sign warning of mountain lions, with a date written in marker indicating the last time a lion was seen at the campground.  We are due for another visit it seems, and pugs would probably make a nice snack for a cougar.  Maybe I should head back down the hill with my two furry cheetos.  

Then I see it:  a splotch of ruffly orange hiding in the undergrowth.  My first successful Golden Chanterelle!  

Up until now I have only found the look-a-likes, but this is the real deal.  I dance about outside of the trailer, hooting, until Hubs comes out and acknowledges my mushroom prowess.  

Before you know it, I will be able to write my own guide to mushroom hunting and I will feature a picture of myself holding my trombone and gloating over a pile of Chanterelles on the cover.  

Wait, that idea is already taken?

In defense of this book, it is actually very helpful in identifying mushrooms.

We drove past Cape Perpetua a few days ago but didn't have time to stop, so now we are devoting some time to exploring. 

A short trail from the visitor center leads us down to the water, and we just happen to make it at low tide.  Jagged pools are home to numerous purple sea urchins and a few green anemone scattered among them.  

 We see our first beached sea lion, and I feel so stealthy for getting this close without it noticing.  Dreams of starting a career in wildlife photography dance around the periphery of my consciousness… exclusive interviews with polar bears, swimming solo with sea lions…I'm going to be the best wildlife photographer that ever lived!

A charging cavalry couldn't startle my blubbery friend there.  Hubs points out that he is quite dead and one of his eyeballs is hanging out.

 Speaking of wildlife photographers, I met a young couple at the lighthouse yesterday who are from a town next to Banff National Park in Canada (one of the places on my bucket list).  We get to talking and I find out that he is a wildlife photographer.  That is, he actually makes a living photographing wildlife.  My spine is all twangly with unfulfilled dreams and my cerebellum burns with ambition as he talks about photographing polar bears in Alaska.  

Anyway, check out his website.  It is clear why people pay him money for his pictures.

Here is a picture that nobody would pay money for.  I took it myself in a fit of self-loathing.

Successive waves roll onto the sharp coastal rocks and spray foam and mist into the strong winds.  

A dark curtain of rain is on the horizon, and we make it home just as the familiar drip drop starts on the roof.

Thanks so much for using my Amazon links to do your shopping!  It is very appreciated!


  1. Personally, I think your photos ROCK!
    Signed: not a friend, or relative, just a fan of your blog.

  2. Nice photos for sure. Wondering how you guys weathered the wind yesterday? Hope you were safe and warm.

    1. Wow what wind! We were sheltered behind a hill, but it was still roaring overhead.