Sunday, April 24, 2005

Morel Madness...Part One

This and following posts will tell a tale of the deceit and treachery involved in the seemingly innocent pastime of 'shrooming'. (Mushroom hunting) The pursuit of the illusive Morel Mushroom.
There is nothing else I can think of that will make an otherwise forthright person, clam up like the morel mushroom. I've had people ask me if they could go into our timber, or go down by the lake and hunt deer, squirrels, racoons, rabbits, pheasants, quail, ducks, and geese. Or could they go fishing. Sure, why not. No one in my fifty five years on this farm, has asked if they could go mushroom hunting, unless forced to do so by having run into me on their way to the trees. I conclude that it must be perceived as either a God given right, or it is, as I highly suspect, the highest form of espionage. If I were trying to recruit for the Secret Service, I would start with mushroom hunters. The "we'll take the info to the grave" mentality is what we're looking for.
If I meet someone in our trees while we are both hunting for mushrooms, they will ask me at that point, "is it okay if we hunt mushrooms", or "Cliff, I didn't see anybody at home so I was hoping it was alright if I came down to see if the mushrooms were out". Of the people who had to ask permission, I've always said, "sure go ahead, but remember, I don't have time to go my self, so if you find too many, you can just leave them on the porch". (mostly kidding)
In all these years I've had venison offered to me cut and wrapped, processed, jerky, salami, breakfast sausage, brats, catfish, carp, white bass, homemade wild plum jelly, and on and on. Nobody, NOT ONE PERSON, has offered to leave a sack of mushrooms. (In case anybody locally ever reads this, the reason I don't hunt deer is I've always been afraid I might get one. So please, no more deer meat unless it's mixed with 100% prime rib of beef.)
Mushroom hunters should be believed, well,,, never. They will intentionally mislead, lie, fib, tell half truths, whatever it takes to conceal the location of their last good spot.
There are different ways to report how many mushrooms you have found. A handfull. They disappointedly cup their two hands together trying to make you think that this is a line of questioning not worth pursuing. A half a bread sack. Again not even worth asking me where I found them. The next size is the brown grocery sack full. This story will be recounted only when the snow is flying. Never during mushroom season.
Where did you find them? "Oh, up in the hills". Now that's precision. Or "down on the bottom". I once met someone carrying a garbage bag half full of mushromms in our trees, here on the bottom, and asked, "where'd you find them?" (Meaning where here in the trees did you find them) The response, "up in the hills". I should've ask why they didn't leave them in the car when they got down here.
So, we have gone hunting, and will post the results of this hunt in the days to come. The above picture is of a 'half a bread sack full'. Uh,,,I got them up in the hills.


Ralph's Homespun Headlines said...

You are so right. I have ran into the "mushroom people myself. Ask them a question about where they found them they would much rather give you their firstborn, their house, or pin code - but never ever where they found the mushrooms.

Anonymous said...

Yuk! I don't eat fungus!

magz said...

hmmmmm... they seem to hunt a different type of mushroom round here. kicking the cowpatties, the longhaired hippie kids mumble randomly and chew anything even remotely fungi shaped... usually rolling their eyes whilst raving Fungus Amongst us!

unrelated, (or maybe just sidelined by a cute cap) the photos below are fantastic cliff. it's all about the light, isnt it? (Beammmmmmin!) "go towards the light! towards the liiiight..")

terah said...

Cliff, this made me hungry! My mouth is watering! I haven't had morels in over ten years. I don't think mushrooms grow in Kansas, at least I haven't seen any. Each spring my dad's family would go mushrooming, and we'd each get to have 4-5 mushrooms from the crop.

One time when my aunt was hunting morels, she drifted off of her property and onto the neighbor's. The neighbor came running at her, waving a shotgun. He said if she ever took his mushrooms again, he'd shoot!

Cliff Morrow said...

I've heard several such accounts. It always amazes me that people can take this so seriously. I've had a friend punched in the face over these.
I've got some neat photos' to share. Coming up.