Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Be vewwy vewwy kwiet...
...We'ah hunting mushwooms!
It's almost mushroom season. I have been mushroom hunting since I was eight years old. Morel mushrooms are a very rich, meaty mushroom that grows all over the US (I even found one once when I was living in Alaska) They resist cultivation so if you want them, you pretty much have to find them.
They tend to pop up in early to mid-May. But we've had some very warm and fairly wet weather recently and I'm hoping to get into the Woods very soon!
I've never gone mushroom hunting here in Illinois, so I don't know the hottest spots. And no true mushroom hunter would tell me unless I were related to him, and probably not even then.
Mushroom hunters are a cagey bunch. They jealously guard their prime spots.
I rememeber once finding a mother lode while hunting with my dad and brother. We found dozens of morels in the center of a dying peach grove. The ground was just covered in them and we filled all of our bags. I found the first one. And then my brother found one and then I found another and then we stopped and took a look at the big picture and realized that the whole ground in this small circle of dying fruit trees was covered in the precious little beauties.
As we were leaving the woods, returning to the car, two men had just parked and were clearly getting ready to hunt for mushrooms themselves. My dad hissed at us to hide our fungal booty and when the two new-comers asked us if we'd had any luck, I opened my mouth to pipe up "YES!" but got an elbow in my ribs from David as a reward.
"Only a couple," my dad lied easily.
And this is not unusual.
And, as an adult, I now understand it completely. Just a picture of a morel makes my heartrate kick up. I don't even care about eating them. I just want to FIND them. You'd think it was easy to spot a tender beigey-pink lovely among the green grass, but you'd be surprised.
I can't wait to get out there!!!!