Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thankful for mushrooming, Part I

I set my alarm, got up real early, ate my oatmeal and looked out the windows for rain. I even watched the early Saturday morning weather on KGW, Channel 8, the NBC affiliate. The more I looked and watched and pondered, the better I felt our chances were of not getting drenched like the forecast on Monday night had made it sound.

Nevertheless, I decided to err on the side of preparation, as in that saying, Success is 90% preparation and 10% perspiration. At least I think that's a saying? Y'all help me out if I'm way off base, please. And I decided to document my preparation.

First, here's a close-up of my positive attitude, something I strive to take with me everywhere, every day.
In this photo you see my Los Lonely Boys hat, the short-sleeved black Dale Earnhardt memorial T-shirt, my Nikon D50, plus my pine green Helly Hansen raincoat underneath my navy blue Marmot raincoat. I'm sitting on the side of our bathtub; we're lucky to have a full-length mirror on the door, on the side that faces the dressing room attached to the bathroom.
I'm so glad I could show you the black rubber boots! Those gray pants, tucked into my boots, are some old knit ones that I wouldn't be concerned with in the brambles Lamont had mentioned to me. Underneath them I'm wearing a pair of lightweight cotton knit full-length pants. My extra clothes are in that white plastic bag. My extra camera battery, wallet and coin purse rested in one pocket, my cell phone, keys, and bus pass in the other--I hardly ever leave home without my bus pass, more of that 90% preparation.
About 45 minutes after I got all my layers on, the guys drove up in Lamont's car. Leland's riding shotgun. And I just noticed something as I looked at this photo in its largest size at Flickr--he's seen me waiting on the steps and has a great big ol' grin on his face! By the time I walked down the steps, he'd moved from the front seat into the back, leaving the front seat for me. I had my motion-sickness-bracelets on already--they'd help me if we ended up anywhere steep or high or cliff-edge-like.
Lamont gave me a grin, too, as I struggled with my seat belt, just like Mama and Lucy had done on the Monday he'd driven us through the Columbia Gorge. "It begins," he said with mock solemnity before breaking out in this grin that I captured with my camera.
Then I held the camera up to my shoulder, pointed it at Leland and snapped.
As we headed out of the city, we met a MAX as we approached the Vista Bridge.
I couldn't get my camera on and focused quick enough to get any of the gliders, but I did get the sign and the tip of a wing, on the right side of the photo. For reasons I cannot explain nor do I understand, the thought of riding in a glider appeals to me. And Lamont said the same thing, almost in the same words, as we went by on the highway. Not too long after taking this photo, I asked, "Am I going to get to go to the bathroom one more time before we go into the woods?" Thank goodness, the answer was yes. We stopped at a Dairy Queen where Leland grabbed some breakfast--he's notorious for not eating breakfast, so I was thrilled to see this development.
We rolled off the highway onto this wooded dirt road. As we drove along for a few minutes, going around a curved incline, I looked around and commented, "This isn't flat, Lamont." His reply, "I never said it was, Mom." He's right. I'd been fooled by some documentary about hunting mushrooms in Europe into thinking we'd be in a wooded area which gently sloped from point to point.
The guys changed shoes, part of their preparation.
Our three mushrooming baskets, all purchased at the local Goodwill--we support Goodwill and its service to our community.
Leland's putting on his gaiters which ought to keep his lower legs somewhat dry as well as protect them from brambles and briars.
Lamont's explaining where and how wet he's been at the end of other mushroom hunts because he didn't take his gaiters.
While the guys finished getting ready, I noticed this tree trunk. It's like an abandoned old building that's been remodeled, don't you think? I mean, look at all of the little trees growing out of it!
His entire life, Leland hasn't been able to resist a puddle--he stomped through three in no time!
Just before we set out, the guys posed for me, holding their empty baskets. I stood there, looking at them through the camera, thinking, "I'm the luckiest woman in the world" and "Their Daddy would be so proud!"
We began our search by turning left at the end of the long on the left.
As we walked along, Lamont began to explain to the two of us where to look for the chanterelles, near tree trunks, fallen logs, among knee-high-evergreen-thickets and huge, robust ferns. I walked along, watching first the ground where we walked, then the steep earthen bank we walked beside, on the right. In a split second, I saw a flash of gold and interrupted my darlin' firstborn son, pointing: "Is that one right there?" He looked where I pointed and said, "It sure is!" Chuckling in awed disbelief, Lamont sort of crowed, "Mom found the first one! Nobody's gonna believe this! Mom found the first one." What a moment! What a memory!

See the beauty hiding in the ferns? Being only around 5'4" I couldn't hold the camera high enough to get a better shot, but I sort of like how this looks, cropped to find the mushroom in the fronds, just about dead center in the photo.
Leland scurried up the bank, quickly joined by his brother. The chanterelle is straight down from Leland's right elbow in this shot.
The two of them inspected the mushroom, Lamont pointing out how to cut it from the earth, at the stem, leaving its roots in place. Leland's reaching for his knife.
Leland cut his first chanterelle under the watchful eyes of his older brother. Once again, what a moment, what a memory, for all three of us.
Lamont's grin is in response to my, "Can I make it up there?" The both answered, "Yes," with no hesitation. And between the three of us, we got me atop that bank and our trek in the real woods began.
Before I stop for this post, the initial chanterelles of many, many more to come.
More tomorrow--I'm watching the Barbara Walters' interview of the Obamas.


Shelby said...

I'm in love with your blog. Especially given the fact you moved from Mississippi to Oregon. I'm from Mississippi/Alabama and I want to move there.. been dreaming of it for years.

awwww--the ocean.

MissKris said...

Those are some handsome boys you have there, Lynette! Just dropped by to wish you and your loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving! Give Mama a hug for me...she sounds like such a delightful lady!