About a year ago the arborist dropped off a load of wood chips (mostly pine) at my place. The pile sat for about 9 months. This fall I spread the chips on a hillside behind my house. When I was shoveling the chips they were fairly dry. White fungal mycelium was evident throughout most of the pile and there were dense clouds of white dust emanating from each shovelful. Apparently the chips were being colonized by the fungus Auricularia auricula, commonly known as “wood ear” or “jelly ear” mushroom.
Now that the rain has returned to California the mushrooms are fruiting all over the shaded hillside. So far my wife and I have harvested several pounds for cooking and more keep popping up every day. They have a fantastic shroomy aroma when boiling in the soup pot and they firm up a bit when cooked, which is good because they are quite brittle uncooked.