First Sunburn

April 5, 2009 at 10:54 pm (Family, Memories, My Travels, Nate)

My sparkling white shoulders got a liberal dose of sunlight today. Nate, my dad, and I went morel hunting. That’s molly moojers to all you Appalachian folks. We found 132. Last year, my dad found over 3500 during the season. Rightfully so, and at $10 an ounce (dried), my dad is very protective over his mushroom patch. He put up pink ribbons over the roadway leading to the patch so the loggers wouldn’t disturb them.

Guess what? They disturbed them. Morels grow from a spawn under the ground which can stretch for quite a distance and while they need warm temperatures and some sunlight, they actually grow better in heavily wooded areas, especially around the towering poplar trees, beside of rotting logs, and will push their way through heavy leaf cover.  My dad filed a claim with the logging company. If he doesn’t get any mushrooms out of the area where they logged, he could be compensated. Its almost the equivelant of disturbing a ginseng patch.

Nate was not so enthusiastic about morel hunting and finally wandered off the mountain. My dad and I combed the road and mountainside from several angles. When I say “road” I mean a gas road, or just an old logging road that is still passable but covered with grass and leaves. We found several just by walking down the road, several sticking out of the hillside, and some big black ones that I spotted from several yards away.

When morel hunting, you really have to work at it. You have to go over the same area because they will be hiding in the leaves or behind logs and if you’re going up the mountain you may miss them, but find them on your way back down.  My dad would be above me and say, “Whooo, I see one, right there, five inches ahead of your stick.” 

Me:  “Where?”

From my angle I couldn’t see it, but from his angle he could.  At one point my dad was bending down to pick one up and I said, “Dad, there’s one right beside of your shoe.”

My dad is funny. Everytime he found one he would say, “Whooo.” For the record, that’s about 75 “Whoos” today. Often he would have several “whoos” in row because once you find one, you two or three or seven, like we did today.

Even though its early in the season and the black morels fruit first, I did find a few of the grey morels, which fruit second. Yellow morels fruit last in the season. A word of caution, if you think you’ve got a morel but there are wisps of cottony fibers in it, DON’T EAT IT! Morels are completely hollow on the inside. Always, always, always, soak your morels and cut them in half before eating them.

blackmorel1

I stole this picture, as you can tell. But, a lot of the morels we found look just like this one. We roll them in cornmeal, fry ’em and serve them with pinto beans and cornbread. YUM!

My dad and I had a great time and I’m looking forward to going again very soon, hopefully this week. However, it was 79* today and its supposed to be 29* by tomorrow night with snow showers. This really sucks. Right now there’s a big thunderstorm heading in so I have to go close the windows and get ready for bed. Have a great night.

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5 Comments

  1. Jammie J. said,

    It’s good to get out in the sun and nature, isn’t it? It balances out the psychosis of the human matter in our lives.

  2. Evil Twin's Wife said,

    I’m pretending like the forecast for tomorrow is completely wrong – and then, maybe it will be. Hey, I’ve got a strong will! 🙂 Sounds like a great day!

  3. Vince said,

    I can see how a kid might find mushroom hunting dull. Still, that sort of stuff builds character. And being outside is good for a boy.

  4. kenju said,

    I would have loved being in the woods; something I did a lot as a child. I have never seen morels growing in the wild.

  5. blackpunkin said,

    I’m afraid Jammie, that it will take a shit-ton more sunlight to counter the psychosis in my life.

    ETW, I have strong will too, together, we can make the sun shine!

    Vince, oh, I agree. Being outside is good for Nate and so is the fact he had to walk home by himself. He’s resisting growing up and stepping outside his box.

    Kenju, I wish I could have taken you!!!

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