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There was lightening and thunder last night which, in my book, means it’s spring. I’ve been warned about planting my flower boxes until Memorial Day but I’m pretty sure I can toss the flannel jammies.
I’m used to a good ole Southern Spring. It’s about two weeks of moderate temps and hellacious weather.
There are lots of wildflowers blooming everywhere, thanks to Lady Bird Johnson. Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrush and Black-eyed Susans. Ha-chooo! But it’s so pretty!!
In Texas, when you see a car pulled off the road, it’s because some mom is making her whole family traipse out into a field of wildflowers for a picture.
Up North it’s because some fool with a walking stick is bent double hunting up Morels.
Dixie translation: Morel mushrooms are brown turd-sponges that are soooo mysteriously hard to find, everyone acts like they love to eat them even though, like all fungus, they taste like dirt.
It’s a verb: morelling. You don’t “hunt for morels” – you “go morelling”. In the summer, they go the same brand of crazy for a rock. Go figure.
I set out today to do a little morelling. Although you’re supposed to keep it a big, fat secret, I’ll tell you flat out that I went straight up the hill behind my house. I’m way too lazy to break a sweat or read a compass or pack a lunch.
As with All Things Anita, there must be a costume. In this case, I went with the classic sock-and-sandal combo.
You gotta have a good Pokin’ Stick, too.
Birch is prettiest but it kept breaking. I found an awesome forked stick but it kept leading me to the creek. After a gruesome battle with some ginormous black ants, I gave up on nature and settled for a broomstick handle from the laundry room.
Very low score from the organic hippie judges but pokin’ is pokin’ aannnd I’m going to stop right there because about 32 inappropriate stick jokes are trying to butt into this paragraph…
Assuming I can actually find an Elusive Morel, there’s a picky little protocol about transporting them out of the forest. One must use a mesh bag so the mushroom spores will scatter as you walk and therefore propagate the forest floor with new morel birthing opportunities. I think that’s putting a lot of pressure on a person – impregnating a forest.
So, hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to poke I go.
I scared up a buncha squirrels and chipmunks. A small herd of whitetail ‘bout scared the crap outta me. I poked and wandered and tried to get inside the mind of a morel.
I kept getting distracted by other stuff. I think that may be part of the allure for those people who don’t have a blog to wrap up.
My trusty Side Cat followed me around at a discreet distance. He stalked many a critter, pounced many a leaf but, alas, did not lead me to the morels. I was kinda counting on his mojo, but no-go.
I squatted down to take this picture of him and happened to look at my feet. Would you believe it? A little morel was poking its head out of the leaves. Then I saw another and another! The perfect ending!
Isn’t that unbelievable?
Yes, my friend. Yes, it is.
I didn’t find any damn morels. Even though I spent 25 whole minutes searching my back yard.
Turns out I’m not that patient or persistent. Or observant. Or stealthy.
I guess the FBI was right to reject my application in college.
At least I got the “blend in to your environment” part right.