Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Boo Hoo for Me
These guys are among my joys. Morels, the caviar of mushrooms. When our youngest daughter was about eight, she came back from a walk in the woods, telling me about this weird-looking mushroom she'd seen, that looked like a brain. I had to go see that, and immediately recognized it (I thought) as the kind of mushrooms a lot of people around here hunt and eat. I picked it and took it to a friend who gathers them, and she confirmed it--we had morels.
Even since, the spring is when I get out in the woods. I start in early March, which is too early, because I'd rather go and find nothing than take a chance on missing any! After that, I try to judge by rainfall and temperature what would be a good day to try. The season is supposed to last through April and into May, but I usually stop looking about mid-April. The brambles and undergrowth are difficult, the ticks are voracious, and the snakes are starting to run.
We got a great harvest this year--the second-best year ever.
While I'm hunting--it usually takes me about two hours to patrol the whole patch, I think of stories, among other things. I think about how people guard the secret of where they get their morels, and how far a fanatic during the season would go to poach or protect a patch. Passions run high, I'll tell you!