Thursday, October 23, 2014

Birch Fungus

Hi again! I am still visiting Prince George (not the royal kid)... and today we are off for a hike to find some birch trees.

The trail we have chosen says we should "Be Bear Aware"... I am an aware bear... I think...

There is a cute lake up here... and you can see the yellow of the birch trees off in the distance.

The trail is beary nice and the fall leaves are beautiful.

Here we go - I found some birch trees!! Why do we want them?

Hmmm... apparently there is a fungus that grows on dying birch trees. It is called Chaga and is good for people are sick... We saw some about 30 feet up a birch tree. But there was no way to get up there... The humans suggested that I climb up there and get it but... I am not the best climber!

I have to say... the birch trees are beautiful!

There is some more... again, beary far up the tree...

Oh look... a cute squirrel!!! He could climb the birch trees but he seemed more interested in chewing spruce cones.

It is a beautiful day and nice to get out for a hike.

And then... we found a birch tree where somebody had made some cuts through the bark. Apparently the chaga thing will grow out of wounds in the dying birch. So clearly, we are getting close!

And there we go... some Chaga just a few feet off the ground!!

Somebody was here ahead of us though and took some...

But we found some...

Really... this is what we want?? It is sort of woody and looks quite ugly.

After quite a bit of work, we had about a cup of the stuff...

There was a lot of Chaga high up in the trees... too bad no-one has tree-climbing gear!

What do you do with Chaga? Well... some people grate it up and brew it like coffee... other people, like our friend in PG brew it up in a pot. It looks like quite a vile brew. Beary interesting...


  1. Fungi are such a mystery to me....I never know which ones are good and which ones are bad. A good book on fungi is a must.

  2. Fungi can be beary confusing... but Mama has a list of 15 edible ones and doesn't deviate from it. Mind you, she hates eating mushrooms soooo... but she does like to hunt them, particularly for Gramma and our PG friends.

  3. We've never heard of that! How interesting. We hope that you got to stop for a little hot chocolate during your trip...that too is beary good and puts little bears in a good mood!

    1. I'd never heard of it either - learn something new everyday. Hot chocolate is beary important for a little bear, almost on par with honey!