Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mushroom Picking

Sunday morning, Mary woke up before the rest of us and took Hazel on a lovely early morning walk in the frosty morning with blue skies and sunshine. She came home stoked and was ready to go mushroom picking.
We talked about a couple of trails to check out and decided to go to the North Ridge Trail, a place I'd gone on my mushroom class. I knew it had a nice, flat area, which should be Simone friendly. The other places I'd gone picking (all 2 or 3 times) I'd gone to steep areas w/out much of a trail.
So, we headed out and as we got closer and closer to the trail head, it got cloudier and cloudier, and a couple of miles from the trailhead we could see snow in the trees a couple hundred feet higher in elevation. No worries, it was cold, but we were dressed for warmth.
We hiked down to the flat area and started looking around. Hazel ran around like a kid in a candy shop, exploring everywhere and running at top speed. Simone found mushrooms at every turn and constantly yelled, "Look Momma! Look Papa! Mushroom!"
Simone and Mary posing next to a mossy tree.
Then it started to rain. No worries, we were under big trees and weren't getting wet.
Then it started to rain hard, and Simone was a little hungry. We sat down for a little snack (not far from frozen breakfast bars) and some hot (too hot) tea. I figured we'd be heading back real soon b/c Simone was going to get cold pretty fast.
Then the rain started to change, it started falling a little slower, and a little colder.
Simone having tea as the rain started turning to snow...
Then the flakes got bigger and bigger, and we had a real snow shower. Simone got so excited and started eating the snow off the logs and off the moss (blech, it tasted like dirt, not so fun).
We started exploring other areas (to keep warm) and on our way out of the place we'd had snacks, Mary noticed something. I dug it up, and it was Mary's first wild Chanterelle mushroom. Very exciting. She found two more, and my competitive drive got going. I found 5 or 6, but it was all in one spot, right next to the road (where Mary shortly thereafter walked and would have found them).
We had about a pound of mushrooms, ready for some Hungarian mushroom soup. Hazel found some deer bones (a jawbone with teeth even), and we found a couple of patches of snow to play in.
The snow level falls.

Simone posing on a log in the snow - with Mary in the background.
We hiked back up to the car to get out of our wet rain-gear and to warm up with some now drinkable warm tea. A very successful mushroom trip.

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