Pleasure in the Pathless Woods

Tony and I spend a perhaps inordinate amount of time in the woods in the spring. Largely this is because we are completely and unapologetically addicted to hunting mushrooms. You know the thrill of finding Waldo? Or a well-hidden Easter egg? Multiply that by precisely 1.61803398874 (just for you, Casey) – and then add some, because that number isn’t really big at all – and you begin to get it.

But, we also simply enjoy the surprises to be found in the early growth of spring, before baby greens morph into jungle monsters. Wildflowers are always a treat:

Sometimes you learn that things you thought were wildflowers only a couple days ago, are not actually flowers at all.

Occasionally your eye will fall upon a tidbit that your brain insists must be a flower, but is not.
The scarlet cups are a particular favorite of mine, on account of how early you can spot them. They are among the first signs of life after a long, white-washed winter.

Other, more mundane fungus also delights. Though I would never eat an LBM (little brown mushroom), I do find them to be super-cute.

And of course, there are the times when you are surprised by the very morels you are ostensibly seeking in the first place. For instance, today I was trying to photograph this super-dark black morel.

But my camera insisted on focusing here instead.

And if you look closely, you will see that my camera tracked down this lovely specimen for me. I honestly had to look at the screen multiple times and then adjust my position to see it not on the screen. How cool is that??

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10 thoughts on “Pleasure in the Pathless Woods

    • You speak like you may have experience. I’d never eat anything foraged I couldn’t positively identify.
      I think the swirly thing is a young fern. Its color and shape was very unexpected among all the leeks.

  1. It’s good when we’re completely addicted to walking in the woods–AND when we have a camera in hand and can share with the world–AND when we can find morels. Looks like you’ve reached the epiphany of woods experiences!

    • It’s a great trifecta, that’s for sure! It’s always a little disappointing to leave the woods with no morels when you’ve been out hunting them, but never a complete loss. There are so many cool things, and it creates such a great appreciation for nature’s complicated interplay. I left the camera at home today because it was raining, but my friend found the coolest shelf fungus that I *must* go back and take pictures of!

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