Patrick Hamilton says this is one of the top 10 mushroom years of his 50 year career, at least, so far. Good rains, and cold but not freezing weather, have brought up abundant fungi. Both coastal, and inland habitats are fruiting now in December 2023. Southern California is also starting to have fungi.
Porcini and chanterelles had a slow start back in October, picked up a bit in November, and now are just continuously fruiting here and there. Candy caps are likewise having a great year, and so far just continuously fruiting. As we head into 2024, it looks promising for hedgehogs, yellowfoot, and the prized black trumpets. Those black trumpet chanterelles are considered by most to be the best mushrooms that California has to offer.
The next best mushroom is probably the "burn morels" in the Sierras, after a fire, but this year we didn't get any wildfires in nearby locations, thankfully! So, we'll be going to the 2-year old and 3-year old burn locations, which still give reliable fruiting, mostly early in the season. Last year the late heavy snows caused a lot of confusion with morels, so many locations never produced. Perhaps this year, we'll see a pretty good harvest since they were dormant last year. Ya never know!