Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Mushroom Picking

 This time of year I get a yearning to eat mushrooms, my own mushrooms. So I go about looking at all the fungi growing and questioning,"Can I eat this one?" That is exactly what I did with this beauty growing in my lawn. You can quit holding your breathe now. No I did not eat this mushroom. My book said beware of mushrooms with gills. They are poisonous.
So I gazed longingly at the pictures in the book wishing I had a clue about what they were talking about. I want to find a mushroom of my very own to eat. Why does it have to be so complicated.

 When I read that some good mushrooms grown in the lawn I vowed to keep looking. Then again it said BEWARE imposters lurk next to the good guys waiting to make you sick and now I'm not sure I want one that comes from the lawn.
The book said use gloves or a napkin, but don't touch mushrooms until you've checked them all out. Some poisons might absorb through the skin. Maybe you might even later put your fingers in your mouth. So I used my toe on this one. Is it a bad guy or a good guy? I thought at first it was bad since it was brightly colored. Some brightly colored frogs are poisonous. That was my logic. Probably basing mushrooms on frogs isn't a good idea so I looked at the book. There I saw some orange happy looking mushrooms and they were edible. Hmm..... wish I knew if this one was. Of course edible and tasty aren't quite the same thing. Some mushrooms are edible but you wouldn't want them for supper.
"Ewwwww....!! looky", I said with delight  to my husband." Here's another one!"
"That's a stink bomb." my husband informed me as we continued on fastening the barbwire to the bottom of the post. Our does have been visiting the neighbor pasture by slipping under the fence. "Not a mushroom at all." he informed me.
"Seriously" my eyes said skeptically as I looked back at him. After all this was the man who once told me about a horrible disease called youngbugitis, Should have seen that one coming but we were dating and I never dreamed this wonderful guy would tell me such a boat load of horse pucky. Now I know better.

To prove his point, he toed the thing and sure enough the top was a ball not attached to the stem. He peeled back the skin. It looked like the stomach of an animal when it is full of grass. Smelled that before when it burst so I thought I'd skip dissecting the mushroom. I'll take his word for it. Sometime I might look it up this stink bomb and see what it says. Literature smells a whole lot nicer sometimes.

I also spied a mushroom growing under a sagebrush. I read sometimes those are good. But was a good kind of mushroom grow under a Big Sage, a Frilly Sage, or a Silver Sage.  Yup, I learned a little about sagebrush last week. We have frilly sagebrush and silver sagebrush but not big sagebrush. Of course the sagebrush where we use to live wasn't big either at six inches tall but it was of the big sagebrush variety. The soil was just so bad it ended up stunted.
Can't someday I have my very own little edible, yummy mushrooms? Maybe I already do but how is a girl to tell?
I asked one of the gals that works at the local library if she knew of a mushroom picker. She did but said she guards the secret to where her gathering spots. I tried to convince her that the lady could keep her locations. I wanted ones of my own, preferably in my five acres. Or at least one of the ranches near by that I might gain access to. Really all I want is the knowledge. If I have that I don't need her picking spots. I will know what mushrooms to pick and where they are most likely to grow. She didn't seem very convince. I suppose she couldn't see why you would want to go to all that trouble when you could just go and use someone else's. Self-reliance is a concept that is very hard for some people to understand.
Then again maybe this lady is like my father-in-law. He has a picking spot too and only picks one kind of mushroom. It doesn't show up every year. In fact it doesn't show very often at all.
Then there is a friend of mine's aunt. Was that confusing? Her aunt has a mushroom that grows in her pastures behind the house. Just one kind of mushroom grows there. We went there one year and it was FUN! Not economical though as the cost of getting there made the mushrooms rather spendy.
So I guess becoming an accomplished mushroom picker will have to wait until another year. I'll just keep toeing mushrooms and staring at my books longingly. A girls got to dream.

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