On travel, and backyard treasures

I have no idea how many hours I’ve spent hunting for morel mushrooms. But I do know I’ve risked my life at least once for the delicious morsels, and have scoured several square miles of Minnesota woods.

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My friend and favorite morel hunter Pam, somewhere near [REDACTED] in [REDACTED].

Not this year, though. This year I was traveling during the height of the morel season and I missed the annual hunt.

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Here’s Pam again, with our haul from one particularly good day in 2011.

I also missed three weeks of critical gardening time — so this weekend I spent six hours kneeling in the dirt, separating flower from weedy foe.

About two hours in, I saw something strange amid the mulch. It took my brain several seconds to process what my eyes had spotted immediately. Could it be? Was it really?!

Yes. A morel. A morel mushroom, right in my … well, never mind where.

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Because everything in my life must be documented, I stood up to grab my camera. And that’s when I noticed that my new pet mushroom had friends. Lots and lots of succulent little friends.

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They were well past their “best by” date, so I didn’t harvest them. But still … isn’t it unbelievable?

I guess it goes to show that we can travel the world in search of happiness and new adventures, but sometimes the treasures we seek are right in our own backyard.

39 comments

    • I’m finding so many lessons in this little chapter I’m having a hard time separating them all, Anthony! I think the most important is, “You must never leave home again.” Ha ha.

  1. Being completely talent-free when it comes to finding mushrooms, I admire those who do – and survive their findings on top of it.
    I hardly saw those on the picture you were marking with red arrows. Maybe if they would start tap dancing…..

    • There, there … I’m completely talent-free in *most* other areas, so don’t be too distraught. (And anyway, there’s always a chance I’ll succumb to my glee and eat the wrong thing.) As for that photo with the red arrows: I made it mostly for myself, to help me locate the elusive little fungi next year! But the way my eyesight is going, maybe even the red arrows won’t be enough. 😉

      • Language is tricky. I should have phrased that differently, as not to come across thinking that my only talent-free zone is located in the woods, looking for mushrooms.

        “(And anyway, there’s always a chance I’ll succumb to my glee and eat the wrong thing.)”
        I surely hope not! This would deprive me of approx. 75% of my sometimes-readers.

        I am with Anthony, he of the first comment – there seems to be a few hidden morels in this story.

        • Ah, yes … language is tricky indeed — but I know from reading your blog that you have MANY talents. 🙂 And don’t worry too much either about losing me to a “bad mushroom trip.” One of the reasons I love morels so much (apart from their succulent flavor) is that they’re relatively easy to distinguish from other fungi. So far, anyway. Ha ha.

          Now … I’d better go catch up on what YOU have been up to the past three weeks while I was off traveling!

    • You are so punny, Pollyanna! 😀 As always, you’ve framed it wonderfully: They were a beautiful gift, indeed. xo

  2. They came looking for you 🙂 Telling you that there’s no place like home. Or bidding you farewell. Either way, it’s better than running into the poisonous snake you did a year or two ago!

    • Almost *anything* is better than running into a poisonous snake — right, Jeff? 😀 I like your interpretation that “there’s no place like home.” Wherever that may end up being. 😉

  3. When I lived in Terre Haute, it seems like everybody but me hunted morels in season. Since I moved to Indy, I’m the only person I know here who knows what a morel is!

    • I must say I thought so too myself. 🙂 Thank you so much for stopping by, and especially for taking the time to comment!

  4. What treasures to find right in your whatsit! 😉 I can’t help wondering, though, who was the weirdo who first looked at those brown, wrinkly, slightly phallic things sticking up through the mud and thought, mmm, I fancy a nibble of one of those….?!

    • My “whatsit.” Ha haaa! Yes, you know … that whatsit out back. BWAAHAAA.

      I’ve also quietly wondered about the same questions you raise, btw: What would have possessed someone to pick one of these things in the first place and nibble it? I often wonder how many of our forebears we lost to these early “edibility experiments.” I’m grateful for their sacrifice, though — especially in the case of these mushrooms! (Have you ever tried one?)

  5. This is going to be one of my all-time favorite stories ever! I laugh every time I think of it! The precioussss treasure we search so hard for right in your backyard! (Hm…maybe we should start searching for…gold??!!) XO, Pam

    • Yes, Pamchenlein! I think we MUST pan for gold in my backyard. Clearly it’s full of precioussss treasureses, just waiting to be unearthed.

      P.S.: Bring your saddle, too, in case we find a unicorn! 🙂

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