Mushroom Time


The rains have been coming and that means mushroom season is in full swing. I can’t always convince hubby to go out with me, and it being (real) hunting season, with bears and steep hills I wouldn’t wall to fall down without someone knowing exactly where I was, well I don’t go out as much as a like, but we’ve been a few times. Hubby even surprised me one morning asking if I wanted to go mushroom hunting (later to find out he didn’t really want to go, but he knew I would). That’s nice of him.

We did ok. Enough chanterelles for about five meals. Not enough for me to feel like pulling out the dehydrator. We learned a little more about our backwoods area (and got more confused). We got a little lost and I fretted over having only two granola bars in the car and starting the venture with only a half tank of gas. But we found our way home, albeit on a different road and we’re not sure where we made our wrong turn. I decided that since we’re no longer in the high desert where you can spot landmarks easily over the sagebrush, it might be a good idea to invest in a GPS intended for hiking and some maps. Car Garmin wouldn’t find me a satellite this time.

We’ve found a few (what I’m sure are) porcini. But with my unscientific calculation of being only 95% sure we decided not to eat them. Problem around here is there’s not really anyone to ask and I only feel so confident with myself until I’ve successfully identified something so many times. And my understanding is there are no deadly toxic boletes in the area, but if you eat the wrong kind (which should stain blue “quickly” or be red pored etc) you’ll get a nasty GI experience you don’t want to remember. Couple that low probability of being wrong with a new-ish anxiety over health (that’s a topic for a different a blog post) – and it doesn’t seem worth it to me to eat something and then spend the next 12 hours feeling my adrenaline spike every time my intestinal gas shifts if ya know what I mean. It’s anxiety, it’s not rational. And despite what you’d think, in my case education does not improve the situation, it only helps my mind to further come up with scenarios and situations that heighten the anxiety. So unless I’m extremely confident it just isn’t worth it.

I need to find a local group of people who I can foray with. My only current option is an hour away once a month when I may or may not be working. That’s hasn’t worked out, since I’m also a little lazy/unmotivated and there’s a book to read or button to repair on my day off (apparently I’ve got priorities). Locally, everyone around here seems to be retired, and I don’t want to seem like a needy weirdo: “hey so I need someone to show me where they find mushrooms and help me identify them.” If I had any talent in making friends or even acquaintances this might be easier. So I guess well keep collecting choice specimens then throwing them into the woods.

It’s been interesting this year to see the differences in my local fungi. Totally different things are popping up. Last year I didn’t see any amanita muscaria (fly agaric) on my property, this year there are a bunch. Last year we had lots of russala, this year it’s all slippery jacks and poor mans slippery jacks. I wonder if I’ll be able to find any trends as the years pass in who fruits when.

That’s it for now. Now that I’ve got my writing’ feet wet again hopefully I can bust out a few more entries instead of waiting a month in between.

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