We have a hodgepodge of stumps on our property; many are located toward the edges of the property. Buckthorn stumps, like the one in the picture, dot this border-land. We removed the buckthorn on the south side our first year at the house in 2012; this was to make way for a fence. This south-side-fence-land area has since been replanted with wildflowers; there is also a large patch of wild phlox near our way-back-garage. There is also a cluster of poplar (cottonwoods, if you live in the southern part of Minnesota) stumps on the north-edge of our property; the back-woods has a few apple tree stumps and enormous grape-vine-stumps.
A few years ago, we got the idea to grow a few of our own mushrooms. We picked up a few bags of spawn plugs from Fungi Perfecti. We downed several oak trees at the in-laws’ cabin that needed to be cleared out. We bucked up the lengths of oak into more manageable logs, and then got to work drilling holes, pushing an inoculated dowel into the hole and then sealing up the holes with beeswax.
These logs lived under our old chicken coop for an entire season (check out the grandness that was our rooster, Beyonce, in the background of that photo; logs in the photo were the leftovers from the good parts that were not rotting).
When we moved, the logs went into storage along with much of our belongings. When we bought the house, we placed the logs into a neat stack, under the eaves of our house on the sidewalk; later, we moved them to the back side of a berm that is in the backyard.
And, there they sat, through the fall & winter of 2012, spring, summer, fall and winter of 2013, and into the spring of 2014.
Recently, my interest in mushrooms has been piqued, again; I have started to notice them around the yard. There are slime molds growing the poplar stumps, thin-stemmed mushrooms growing from stair bales, tiny shelf fungi growing on the buckthorn posts of the garden fence, several morels have popped up here and there – next to one of the siberian elms and in and amongst a patch of lily of the valleys.
With the recent attention to mushrooms, a couple days ago, I wandered over to the neglected oak logs. The writing on the beeswax-covered ends has worn off; I had written on each log with a date and the mushroom type. The beeswax was also quite faded.
I flipped one log over and discovered an ants’ nest. I rolled another log over, and what did I find – a couple shiitake mushrooms. I am hoping with the recent heavy rains, that more morels, shiitakes and maybe some of the lion’s manes pop out.