Stalking Mushrooms ~ Do or Fry . . .

As I step back in the capsule of time, I feel the abundant love of my brother, sisters, mother, father, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins as we shared many fun activities at the farm and wonder why it has taken me this long to make the incredible journey in memory.

“Down home” was beautifully adorned with acres of land and big red barns. Even the chickens were quite beautiful in their own way and many were special breeds with fancy top-notches and the turkeys powerfully strutted their stuff. The spotted and multicolored cattle grazed lazily in the beautiful meadows where wild flowers blew in the breeze begging to be picked. Nearby a small brook flowed innocently before the entrance of the forest and a large creek rippled wondrously in the woodland.

We all managed to hustle home from the bigger cities and towns nearby to celebrate holidays and to rest and relax. I sometimes wonder how our parents managed us all at once. I imagine they were happy to see us come and glad to see us go (smile).

My mother made many of the critters at the farm her pets until a goat ate her sheets off the line and chomped away on her magnificent rose bushes. I remember my mother shedding a lot of tears over that earth-shattering experience. Absolutely, no one came between my mother and her roses.

Also, a fond memory of my mother’s pets was about a turkey which was growing old and somewhat cantankerous. Mother went into one of the fenced-in areas to get something and it attacked her. My father came to the rescue quickly with a shovel and knocked it out cold. My mom cried and cried at the loss, but the next day Mr. Tom Turkey was strutting his mean stuff.  I have laughed and laughed about that story. You would have to know my parents.

Another story that I love to tell about my mother, who was basically a very innocent woman and never got an off-colored joke, but when it came to the birds, bees and animals she was more in tune and got it. As I recall, there was a chicken or a duck whose feathers were always rumpled and it limped along from a lot of obvious over-activity. It also had big knots on the side of its head.

This particular day when the story gets funny, one of my little nieces came running in and excitedly described the chicken and wanted to know whatever could have happened to it, and my mom simply replied, “I guess she is a little bit better than all the rest” and continued to roll out pie dough. I thought that that was a wise reply but discovered later it was because the male chickens took a fancy to her and mated with this particular female more than the rest  It has been a funny story to share over the years.

Most of all I remember the times we spent hunting mushrooms together as a family activity. Thank goodness the water fights were few and far between and were always instigated by my brother who was a big tease; and we called him the only thorn in the midst of beautiful roses ~ meaning he was our only spoiled-rotten brother. The stories I could tell on him would be endless.

I got sidetracked a little with family stories but want to explain that Morel mushrooms typically grow wild in many states and are fungal organisms. The mushrooms rear their little spongy heads in early spring and often thrive adjacent to Elm trees. They also grow in many atypical locations trust me and generally continue growing abundantly through Mother‘s Day and then “poof” they are gone.

A wild mushroom gets nutrients from decaying organisms. It does take a trained eye to spot them because they can be quite small and also when much larger, they blend in with the surroundings. They are very delicious fried in butter or olive oil. That is getting a little ahead of the story but my aim is to get the juices flowing with hungered anticipation if you have ever dined at a big mushroom fry.

mushroom

We’d all take off to the woods at mid-morning except for my mother who stayed home to bake all kinds of pies (pizza and beyond) and huge yeast rolls and some of the men would stay at the house to watch television, play games or get a head start at eating her delicious baked goods.

Throughout the years, my sisters and I got wise and branched off separately, especially from my brother who would attempt to have us crawling in briar patches to hunt mushrooms and then laugh his butt off when we’d start complaining from all the prickles of the thorns. How silly or gullible could we have been?

This particular mushroom season that I want to share more than any other was when we had gone our separate directions with walking sticks to poke at the forest floor covered with leaves and get lost in the peaceful surroundings. The birds would be chirping love songs; and I often would stop and marvel at the sun sparkling through the tops of the tall trees casting beautiful designs on the forest floor.

It was times like this that I knew without a shadow of doubt that God was the glorious master of the universe and his artistry exquisite. His colorful design is that of perfection, and he has given me these precious memories to look back upon as I sit in my living-room typing with beautiful background music playing reflections of nature entitled “A Walk in the Woods.” It is an awesome gift from God this Wednesday afternoon on the 9th day of May.

As I walked in the woods mushroom hunting/stalking this fine day many years ago, I was thinking of how much I loved these gatherings; and with being a reflective/creative person, I got very lost in my surroundings. Then suddenly, it was like I had flown off to a puffy cloud in the blue sky and later was dropped in the center of an enchanted forest surrounded with beauty and the pristine sounds of nature.

As far as the eye could see, mushrooms were growing around me. They were all sizes and definitely a most magical feeling crept over me, but then what did I do? I woke up from that cloudy trip and screamed. I was laughing and squealing with delight when all my siblings came and picked every last one of them ~ I don’t think I was able to believe it long enough to bend over and start picking or, at least, not quick enough as the crew picked and picked and picked.

I had not related that story to anyone for a long time when my sister and I were talking on the phone awhile back, and I asked her if she remembered ~ I guess I was still looking back and wondering if it had been a big dream. She said “do, I remember, we had to go back to the house and get gunny sacks to put them all in.” Now that I definitely do not recall, but it’s always fun to embellish upon a story and a for real and once-in-a-lifetime happening for this mushroom stalker/hunter.

Now, it is years later and I am still living in a big city and haven’t made it to the country too many times to pick mushrooms, but I have found a little woods along the way while out walking where I have not only found a couple of mushrooms, but have made a couple of new friends who let me stalk a small woodsy lot for mushrooms.

The wooded area is along the river on my favorite street which is like being in the country in the middle of the big city. It’s always been my favorite street to walk and talk to God on winter, fall, spring, and/or summer days. There is definitely another story about my new friend who is a recent widow and has a hound dog that I take for walks

The friendship with Dar and Buddy has not only brought me a couple of big mushrooms but delight in hearing about her interesting life. All in all, life is grand and you can never out give God and I share a poem composed by me in memory of my mother.

Remembering You, Mama

With this key, I unlock my heart
Where special memories are stored –
Remembering you, Mama
With sweet aromas of fresh-baked bread

As a favorite song cascades merrily
I dance in rhythm to its beat –
Remembering you, Mama
With golden hours of wondrous times shared

Seeing the keys of a piano dancing
I am often carried away in bliss –
Remembering you, Mama
With melodies of the vibrant Mosquito Waltz

Those funny stories of farm animals
I do so cherish them in glee –
Remembering you, mama
With roars and roars of healing laugher

There are times I wonder if I’m too independent, but
I do so thank you for teaching me to think –
Remembering you, Mama
With and for all the strength you instilled in me

During the month of May
I feel very adventurous and woodsy –
Remembering you, Mama
With every step we take hunting mushrooms

During the summer months
I can still see you surrounded by kids at the lake front –
Remembering you, Mama
With special pride as you taught others how to fillet fish

Your special enthusiasm at Christmas
I shall always tuck tenderly away –
Remembering you, Mama
With special joy in all Seasons of Love

At any time of the year or season
I recall your favorite talent of fixing huge meals –
Remembering you, mama
With delight as food decorates harvest tables

There are so many Thanksgivings
When I still see you labeling your Christmas gifts –
Remembering you, Mama
With awe in how you knew you’d be going Home
 
With every piece of poetry I write
I thank you for the beautiful farewell poem you left us –
Remembering you, Mama
With knowing you are a whisper away, waiting to meet us some day

Also, I would like to add that my nephews are finding a lot of mushrooms and they sold 40 pounds to markets last year for $20.00 a pound. The retail markets then turn around and sell them for $35.00 – $40.00 a pound ~ they are an expensive yummy. The season is NOT over.

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About thorns4roses

I am passionate about animals, poetry, music, photography & writing. It’s great to be alive & part of a world on the cusp of changing for the better. "Learn to Love with all your heart & accept the unlovable sides. For everyone can Love a rose but only a great heart can include the thorns. . . ." Unknown
This entry was posted in Mother's Day, Poetry, True Story of Memories, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Stalking Mushrooms ~ Do or Fry . . .

  1. thorns4roses says:

    Does anyone know how you can discover who has published articles on Facebook as there are 7 shares to Facebook but only 3 “likes.” Now that is somewhat disturbing as to someone sharing my stories and not leaving any traces. I am not certain if I like that feature about WordPress.

  2. thorns4roses says:

    By this time 12 shares to Facebook but very few “like’s” . . . oh well….that’s life when it comes to stalking mushrooms!!!

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