Thank you everyone who sent me Happy Birthday wishes yesterday! :)
I decided to spend the day hunting...for wild mushrooms :) near our cabin. It is that time of year. I called my friend and fellow mushroom hunter Bona to see if she wanted to go with me, but she couldn't, so I loaded Rum and Allie into my Jeep to keep me company (which I will later regret) and off we went.
The drive up was great. Saw a wild turkey balancing himself on concrete pilings alongside the highway, an unusual sight with that long wingspan. About half way into the trip, driving on the small rural road I saw a small herd of white tail deer grazing on a hillside. Had my camera ready, stopped the Jeep and grabbed a couple of shots, keeping one eye on the deer and the other in my rear view mirror. That's the nice thing about these rural backroads is the lack of traffic. One thing I immediately noticed about these deer is how physically different they look compared to the deer that hang out near our cabin; these look so scrawny. From the color of their coats to the texture, the cabin deer appear healthier than the deer living at the lower elevations near the small town of Orofino. Click >here< to see pics of the cabin deer and you'll see what I mean.
The deer watched me intently for a few seconds, then flashed their tails, trotted off a few steps and stopped. I slowly followed while they watched. Then one flashed it's tail and turned. They didn't run off, just flashed, turned and trotted off a few steps. But I needed to get going...I had mushrooms on the brain!
Arrived at the cabin and started my search. Sam had been up during the weekend and said the morrels were out, but after an hour of searching several prime mushroom spots I was beginning to think he was just pulling my leg. While I walked the hillsides, Rum and Allie apparently bounded down to a creek to play. When I called them back to theJeep they were soaked and muddy; most of the mud in this area is clay which stains and is extremely difficult to get out of any type of cloth. So I stood there, debating whether to stay and let them dry or just put them in the Jeep and move on to another spot...away from the creek. Opted for the latter.
Drove back to the cabin to dry off the dogs, and search another area, and about the time I was ready to pack up and leave, I found one. Continued walking, and searching, two hours later I had a very small bounty and it was time to head home.
Back home I cleaned the morrels and put them into salt water to kill the bugs. Most people can't handle that thought, but they are wild mushrooms and it goes with the territory, and the mushrooms are sooooooo yummy! Sam and I fixed a spaghetti dinner (which was delish); I was tempted to throw some of the morels into the sauce, but they really needed to soak a bit longer.
Family members showed up to celebrate the evening and I received some very wonderful gifts from each...all unique and I love them! As everyone prepared to leave the little neighbor girl stopped in to wish me a happy birthday, as well. I was surprised that she knew, but she admitted our youngest daughter had just told her outside...I was touched. Sam and I saw our family off, then spent a little time with the neighbor girl and her very chatty friend. :) They left just before dark, and I settled into my jammies for a nice quiet evening.
I'll post pics of my gifts later, right now I have a very messy Jeep in need of some deep cleaning, and some annuals to plant. Later I hope to visit Bona, and this evening I've invited Sam's mom over for dinner. Seems my To Do list is growing longer and longer.
A very small bounty. During mushroom season we usually find enough to fill a quart size baggie. These would barely fill a snack size baggie. Soon, the coral mushrooms will pop up. Those are my favorite.
The following has been added, for obvious reasons...
*******DISCLAIMER AND WARNINGS!********
CAUTION: Hunting for and eating wild mushrooms is fun, BUT remember, these are nothing like mushrooms found in the local grocery store. Some mushrooms are poisonous, and even deadly. Extreme care should always be used when planning to hunt or eat wild mushrooms. Any misconstrued or preconceived notions gathered from this entry is the responsibility of the reader; warning: some mushrooms are poisonous, even deadly. I make no representation nor do I offer sufficient information in this entry for a totaly safe mushroom hunt because some mushrooms are poisonous, even deadly. Seriously, in order to avoid poisoning, I urge you to follow some simple rules:
1. Identify each and every mushroom you find, and only collect those whose identification you are positively certain of. If in doubt, leave it.
2. Never eat:
3. Some people are allergic to even the safest mushrooms. The first time you try a wild mushroom, it is important that you eat only a small amount and wait 24 hours before eating more.
4. As with other foods, rotting mushrooms can make you very ill. Eat only fresh, undecayed mushrooms and eat those in moderation.
5. Most wild mushrooms should not be eaten raw or in large quantities, since they are difficult to digest.
6. If you are a first time hunter, you should make your first hunting adventure with someone who knows what a safe to eat mushroom looks like. There are several types of morels, some edible and others poisonous.
7. Know before you go. There is a multitude of information about wild mushrooms on the internet and published in books. Take time to familiarize yourself with the object of your quest before you venture out, and be mindful of rule #6 above.
Warning: some mushrooms are poisonous, even deadly.
Portions of this warning have been incorporated from The Great Morel Site. I thank them for their informative approach to one of my favorite spring activities.
Going to the woods is going home. -- John Muir
In the woods we return to reason & faith. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson