Morel Mushrooms

| 4/4/2016 9:58:00 AM

Connie Mooremorel mushrooms

You might as well know the end before you decide to become a mushroom gatherer. There are no guarantees of any sort, much like fishing. You go for the time, the solitude, the quiet of the earth. While you are out there, you breathe deeper.

Winter idleness is pushed from the lungs and muscles. It is a time for reconnecting with the land around you. Sometimes you bring home a good catch, or in this case, a good mess of morels, sometimes not.

You need to be familiar with mushrooms. There are good and bad, some very bad. “If you don’t know, don’t go” is a quote I have heard many times throughout my years. It is true. Or, if you don’t know, go with someone who does. Someone who goes each spring, eats what they gather and has never gotten sick from wild mushrooms. Everyone who wants to learn something well seeks out a master at it and together, teacher and student proceed to tackle the process.

My father was a gatherer. He wanted to teach me, and, at the same time, protect me from choosing the wrong fungus or crossing paths with slithery creatures. He took me along, insisting I walk behind him. Always.

The real reason was he did not want me to spy a mushroom before he did. When I got old enough to see beyond his concern for my safety, and realized what his motive was, I was still content with the arrangement. I wanted to be out searching for mushrooms and if it meant that I walked behind and feigned ignorance, so be it. I wanted to be with Dad and be part of his springtime happiness, as we tramped the woods and wet meadows around Medway.

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