Mushroom porn

25May11

I’ve been looking forward to today since February. That’s when my friend Pam and I set the date for our annual morel mushroom hunt.

“Is this our third year, or our fourth?” I asked Pam today as we tromped through the woods. “I think it’s our third,” she replied from down the trail.

And she’s right, of course. Our first foray came in May, 2009 — just two days after I started this blog. Alas, we didn’t see a single mushroom. But we sure enjoyed getting lost.

Our second morel excursion came last spring, shortly after I got a scary diagnosis. I still have the card Pam sent me: “I told my dear Uncle Elmer about (it) and he said, ‘That’s it! OK. I’ll tell you where the morels are.’ ” Still, we came home empty-handed.

So forgive me if I thought Pam was being a bit optimistic in the email she sent me last night: “I pick you up at 10:30. We take a leisurely drive … and stop at [CENSORED] for a light picnic lunch. … Then we trot through the woods to [CENSORED]. Once we pack a large bag of morels there, we cut over to the [CENSORED] and plunge into the woods behind it, where we briefly get lost and collect another large bag of morels.”

Yes, that’s right. I’m not going to tell you where we went. First, because morels are extremely rare (think “truffles”), and extremely hard to find. Here’s a simulation of what you’re looking for as you stomp through the woods:

Did you find all six morels? Excellent. Drop me a note—you’re coming with us next year.

Anyway, the second reason I’m not divulging our secret spots (and there are three of them) is … Because. We. Scored.

By the end of the day, we’d harvested 72 mushrooms between us. To put that in perspective, most people count themselves lucky if they find a colony of four or five. A take of 15 is exceptional. But 72 fresh morels—in one afternoon? Unheard of!

I was glad I’d brought my camera to document our spoils. Here’s our morel stash, early in the afternoon …

… and here’s Pam, not quite believing her luck …

By the end of the day, we had two coolers’ worth of mushrooms.

But we’d also spent a day among spring’s glorious green …

… we’d had a lovely walk along one of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes …

… and we’d stopped to smell the roses. I mean, lilacs …

There’s a lot to be said for the giddiness of attaining a goal. But in the end, friendship is all that matters.

So … thank you, Pam, for a wonderful day. You friendship means more to me than one million morels.



6 Responses to “Mushroom porn”

  1. 1 Lis

    Beautiful, beautiful photos!!! And, yes, I am envious of the morels sauteed in butter…yum! Good catch, ladies!!!

  2. 2 pmmiller1

    Delightful entry, dear pal! Are we awesome, or what?

    • 3 hmunro

      We are *beyond* awesome, Pam. We are LEGENDARY! And next year will be even better!!

  3. 4 InsideJourneys

    Wow, what a score!
    The photos, too.
    Bon appetit!

  4. 5 njoyfrancis

    maidenhair fern is my favorite. . .beautiful!

    • 6 hmunro

      I love ferns, too. It always seems miraculous to me that something so delicate can survive our winters.


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