"It's dumping cold rain and the trails will be awful,
and I don't want to pack wet tack for the ride.
Let's go mushroom hunting!"
|Aarene & Duana: partners in death|
|Monica aka "the Instigator"|
She learned from Paul (and from a little independent research, to make sure she remembered the details enough not to poison anybody),
|Right hand, camera left: a chanterelle mushroom|
Left hand, camera right: certain death
and she taught us.
It didn't take long for all the Usual Suspects to catch onto the fun of finding "gold" in the woods.
So the other day when it was way too nasty to ride, Duana and I headed out with the dogs to do a little mushroom hunting.
|Roo and Selah: faithful companions|
Du was more bold about traipsing off trail than I was. I'm still a little careful--my hip is totally sound now, but falling down would still kinda suck.
|Roo doesn't approve of going off trail, |
and follows along to help anyone who might get lost out there.
The treasure is tempting, though.
Pretty soon, our eyes learned the trick of seeing just the right color and just the right shape peeking out from the forest duff.
We aren't mycologists, not by a long shot. I can correctly identify morel mushrooms and chanterelles, mostly because those two are really unique and don't have any close look-alikes here.
But while we were out hunting, we couldn't help noticing, and admiring all the cool stuff. Since we don't know their proper names, we made up our own.
|Roadkill Bullfrog - certain death|
If you know their real identifiers, feel free to leave notes in the comments.
|Tree Clams - certain death|
|Floofy Dog - mostly harmless|
|Baleen - certain death|
|Cute Little Eyeless Alien - certain death|
|Soap Bubbles - certain death|
|Nipples of Venus - certain death|
|Teeny pancake and dog (you figure out which is which)|
|Ineffective Umbrella - certain death|
|Bad Hair Day - certain death|
|Insurance Salesman - mostly harmless|
At the end of the walk, the dogs were happy
|"hahahaha, got all wet and didn't have a bath!"|
|Roo loves the towel|
And we had treasure!
|trumpet shape, frilly edges|
|false gills (ridges)|
Roo was exhausted.
But the Usual Suspects were just getting the hang of it!
The next day, we were trotting down the trail when Fiddle and I screeched to a halt.
We didn't ride as fast or as far as usual
|Too busy looking for mushrooms|
And when I got home, Santa Jim was ready to make something wonderful.
|We dried the mushrooms on newspaper|
|They are already full of moisture, so we clean them with|
a dry paintbrush rather than with water
|In a skillet over very low heat, with olive oil, |
a few gentle herbs, and some course salt
|Stirred gently into a creamy cheese sauce, and served over fetticine|
We're packing up for the Dry Side next weekend. We'll be at the Jubilee Ranch Endurance Ride.
We have a forecasted 80% chance of sunnyblue, 100% chance of apples, and 0% chance of mushrooms.
But that's okay. We'll have fun anyhow.