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Bleached Blonde Mind - The Elusive Morels

They are elusive.  Apparently they are delicious.   And the one time I found them in the store they were $20 for about ¼ pound of them.  I’m talking about Morel mushrooms.
“They are so yummy,” said a friend of mine.  “Just go hunt some yourself – it’s totally worth the effort.  I went yesterday and found a bunch.”
“Ok, but where?” I asked. I was a mushroom-hunting virgin - seeing as how we didn’t have this sport where I grew up in California.
“Here, I’ll show you.” And he brought out a map.  “Right here.” 
“Ummm, that’s a giant forest.  Exactly where?””
“Are you kidding? I can’t tell you that.  That is sacred information.  You know how much those babies go for?  And when you sauté them in butter – oh it’s beyond words. Look in the woods behind your house.  There’s a good chance you could find some there.”
So that is what we did this afternoon.  We went mushroom hunting.  I was dressed from head to toe in long sleeves and long pants with long socks – looking not only for mushrooms but also the ever popular “leaves of three – let them be”.  If there is poison ivy anywhere near me, it will find me, jump out, rub itself all over me and leave a rash in its’ wake. (Now I wouldn’t mind if say, Steven Tyler did that - but if I can skip the poison ivy -  the world is a better place.)
“You have to move very slowly and concentrate,” said my husband.  Normally an obvious statement like that would irritate me.  But my husband compares me to a 12 year old boy standing at the open refrigerator looking at a milk carton while yelling, “Mom, where’s the milk?”  So I didn’t take offense.  I could see where my A.D.D. could possibly kick in while doing the tedious job of looking for tiny brownish, tan fungus.  I know, it was my idea – so I tried not to complain. 
“Stay on the trail and look – there is less poison ivy there.”  Fine.  Boring, but fine.  So Lucy and I set off on our own adventure.  We saw a lot of cool things:  A black non-poisonous (I hoped) snake, a black with a green stripe down it’s back (questionable on the poisonous part) snake, an orange bird with a black belly, clam and oyster shells from a millennium gone by, a very cool pine cone fossil (that from a distance I swear looked like a Morel – my heart starting beating faster, dang it),  some beautiful wild flowers, some neat fish swimming in the stream near the waterfall, a Bud Light can (and don’t get me started on that very touchy subject), some early-bird mosquitoes, some lovely fern, and droppings that I swear could be from a Mountain Lion though I’m told they are not indigenous to these parts.  But no Morels.
My husband caught up with us by the stream.  I was throwing sticks into the water and Lucy was retrieving them.
“Looking pretty hard, I see,” he smugly commented.  I noticed his bag was just as empty as mine. 
“Just taking a break.  Any luck?”
“Nope.  Nada.” 
“Oh well, it’s after 5 O’clock and I hear a glass of wine calling from the back deck.  Ready to call it quits?”
Thankfully I didn’t have to twist his arm.  We collected the muddy dogs, took some great shots of the stream, waterfall and glorious sun (lately as elusive as the Morels) with our camera and headed back to the homestead.  Empty handed – no Morels.  Thankfully, as far as I know anyway, no poison ivy either. 

Bleached Blonde Mind, Karen Kelly

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