Finding Fungus

Remember how last time I said I didn’t have any hobbies since Josie came along? Well I found a new one! Unfortunatly it is seasonal and short-lived (spring for a few weeks) and you have to hang out in a burned out forest, which I actually enjoy. It’s…drum roll…mushroom hunting! Josie, Matt and I packed up today and drove an hour away to a spot called Jerry Johnson where there was a fire a year ago. Matt had it on good authority that the pickin’ of morel mushrooms would be easy. For those of you who are not up on your mycology (the study of mushrooms), the morel is a tasty, elusive, non-poisonous beauty that tends to grow in fire burned areas the spring after a fire. It is big business in these parts.

perfect conditions

perfect conditions

Just to make things interesting, Josie decided to scream for most of the car ride there no matter what food or toy I bribed her with. By the time we got to the trailhead our nerves were fried and we were having serious regrets.

IMG_3274

We headed into the woods and passed a dozen dudes coming out with monster backpacks, buckets and bags of morel mushrooms. Matt informed me they were pros with permits and had probably picked everything dry. We hiked 2 miles in and ventured just off the trail into a burned out area. Matt found the first little tiny morel and we breathed a sigh of relief that we could go home with one in hand, our heads held high. Then we hit the motherload…OH, the adrenaline of finding 15 big ones in one spot. In moments we were addicted to the hunt.

hidden bugger

hidden bugger

an eyebrow raising mushroom

an eyebrow raising mushroom

Josie was a huge help. She spent her time trying to run off the side of the trail, eating random pieces of the forest floor and fussing about her man ride:

get me off this big sweaty Dada!

get me off this big sweaty Dada!

found one!!

found one!!

the haul

the haul

Here is the the mushroom portrait before they go into the freezer:

the big, the small and the ugly

the big, the small and the ugly

What a fun day! Hopefully I can practice my hobby again next spring.

2 Comments

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2 responses to “Finding Fungus

  1. lissa cenis

    Wonderful post. The mushrooms are very different from any I have ever seen. Do they grow in all burned forests or just out West?

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