Sunday, April 10, 2011
Mommy We Found 6!
Mushroom hunting for me is not about the quantity of mushrooms you find, but more about the quality of the experience. Many people do not understand this and think I am crazy when I give away a pound or two of morels after putting in all the time and energy to hunt them down. But I love the hunt and to me, the mushroom is more of an added bonus. And sometimes the memories will last a lifetime.
Although I have picked almost five hundred in the last two days, I would give them all up for the six we found today. Because today I took my kids hunting for the first time. I must say I was a little nervous. My kids are 6 year old twins, meaning they will not walk too far or through too tough terrain for long. Also, if you do not find anything soon, minds tend to wander and the nagging to go home or go to the play park is soon to follow. So, I was under a lot of extra pressure to produce morels and fast.
Lucky for me, the morel goddess was smiling down and had kept one small set of trees I knew to produce safe from the eyes of numerous hunters, and they were out in droves. I counted no less than 18 vehicles along the roadway as I drove in. It is only because of good morel karma (some gained by giving to those who can't hunt any longer). This set of trees is right off the road, I mean literally 25 feet from the road. However, it is kind of by itself so no one really ever checks it. I had scouted and hidden a few little ones three days before, and as I walked up and pointed out which trees to look around, I looked anxiously to see if it they had been picked.
I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw them, no longer hidden by the leaves, and just waiting to be seen. The kids have their daddy's eyes because it took them no time at all to spot them. My son was the first to say "Look, a mushroom," but his sis was way ahead of him and moving around the tree to get a closer look pointing as she went.
He quickly moved into action and began picking while his sister kept on spotting.
I am not sure if this was a twin thing, but they sure had an unspoken system that came natural to them and they uncovered five pretty quickly. In the end, even my daughter started picking.
As we were leaving they found one real nice 4 inch gray that was only about 15 feet from the road sitting all by itself in the tall grass. Always good to leave on a high note.
Overall it was a very short but very sweet hunt. Their first official morel hunt was a success. I say official because I did take them hunting when they were four by dragging them down a trail in an over-sized radio flyer plastic wagon (the by product of morel fever and no baby sitter). They did find some mushrooms that day, but they were not there by choice. This time, they really wanted to go on a hunt. Today hunting with the kids, and this weekend hunting with good friends, reminds me how much I enjoy watching other people find mushrooms. Their are a few good mushroomers out there that share this sentiment. By choice or by chance, a lot of the people I hunt with are of this same ilk and it is something I hope to share, not just with my kids, but with my grandkids.
Only a few more years and the kids will be able to hit it hard with me. Watch out folks, then there will be three sets of eyes spying trees in the woods. Is it wrong to take your kids out of school for two weeks in April?