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.


    • 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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