Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful for mushrooming, Part II

First, let me wish everyone who celebrates it a very Happy Thanksgiving today. Of course, each of us can find some one thing, or hopefully many things, to be thankful for every single day.

This is the next mushroom that I found right after the boys got me atop that steep, soft bank--Leland behind, giving me a boost, Lamont ahead, holding onto my hands and pulling. Too bad we didn't have one more person along to take that photo! Two chanterelles glow among the duff, which is the partly decayed organic matter on the forest floor, according to Merriam-Webster OnLine. Those are my fingers and the Gerber knife that Leland let me use for our mushroom hunt.
Isn't it amazing that such golden-sunshine-color could appear deep in the forest floor, at a spot where the rays touch only softly?
The guys found a few, too, and stopped to pose for me with the woods in the background. You can get an idea of one kind of terrain we covered in this photo. And when you see subsequent photos of the baskets, you'll get an idea of the bounty we harvested. Oh, by the way, I imagine that right after I took this photo, I asked Lamont once again, "Are you sure you know where the car is?" Every time his answer was the same, "Yes, Mom, I know where the car is." I promised I only asked about four times in three hours.
A critter Lamont saw.
Lamont's explaining where he's found mushrooms before, processing that information and deciding which way we should go next.
The guys never got too far in front of me. Even if it looks like they're not paying attention in this photo, they constantly turned to check on me or stopped when I said, "I see one!" just to make sure I was OK.
We saw other mushrooms, inedible ones, like this coral one.
And this black one.
While this shot is blurry, I wanted to include it so that you could see what I meant about chanterelles among the knee-high-evergreen-thickets. How Lamont found these amazes me. He's holding back the greenery so you can see where the chanterells grow. I'm standing on duff which often shifted with my weight and made me move just as I snap the photo.
One of the neat things about chanterelles is that when you find one, you just might find more. I know, the mushrooms don't show up very well here--too much light reflected off them, but you can see what I mean about finding more than you originally expected. And you can tell through all of these photos that we were not being rained on--hooray! Just a mist every once in a while, or lots of big drops if the wind blew through the woods.
Yes, I managed to make my way over fallen, moss-covered logs, sometimes all on my own, sometimes with the aid of one or both sons. Like the song says, "I had the time of my life!"
Lamont demonstrated how you can tell a real chanterelle from a fake one. When you peel about the top layer and you see white, you've got a real one; if you see the golden color, you've got a fake one.
Look at the size of these, in relation to Leland's hand!
Leland gently harvests these really big ones.
See what I mean?

I have to stop now to get dressed to go to the guys' house for Thanksgiving lunch. I'll finish the thankful-for-mushrooming soon!

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