A Beautiful Birthday

Happy Birthday to Me! Another year’s passed, and they really do seem to be going faster. I don’t feel any older than I did this time last year, but the days are adding up, and I can tell I’m getting old. If there are no other signs, I am obviously more mature have more grey hairs, so there’s no denying it. Not that I’m bothered by it; aging is a pretty good alternative to my other option, and I’m not so sure I’ll look bad with grey hair 😉

I think Mother Nature finally took pity on me, and treated me especially well for my especial day. The weather couldn’t have been fairer, and Tony was of a like mind with me today so we spent most of the afternoon doing what we do in the spring. (That’s hunting morels if you’re unsure.)

Because Father Winter lingered long past his welcome this year, Tony and I haven’t been our usual eager selves to check the progress in the woods. We know there’s not been nearly as much as one might expect by this time in May. However, my neighborhood walks with Petey have indicated that it’s time to start hitting our spots checking for morels.

While I love eating the mushrooms, my heart is really in the hunt. A friend and I swear it’s what’s actually behind the Easter egg hunting tradition. If you’ve ever delighted in finding Waldo, then you have an inkling of what morel hunting is like. Nature’s tastiest nuggets camouflaged against a gorgeous backdrop of rustling leaves and vibrant, ephemeral wildflowers. You get to walk amidst it all, enjoying the simplicity of each passing moment so that even if you don’t find any mushrooms, you’ve still won a great prize.

We didn’t find a ton – we brought home twenty that were acceptably large – but we found some: The season is afoot! Even if we hadn’t found any, I’d still have counted today as a gift. This way, there’s no doubt it’s going in the books as a perfect birthday celebration.

We did not pick the tiny mushroom, I just included it for funsies.

The State of the Woods

It’s the time of year again when we start spending nearly all our free time in the woods, staring downward, looking for morels. We always start the search far too early, and this year is no exception. We knew it was, but we wanted to see how things were looking out there. Turns out, there’s more green stuff above ground than we had expected. Not only are the trout lilies popping up – they’re among the first plants to re-emerge after winter, like crocuses, but longer-lived – but some leeks have sprouted up too.

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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. Continue reading

It’s a Family Tradition

Trillium and violets

My Aunt Karen passed away a week ago. I had planned to go see her next weekend, but my trip got moved up. She didn’t get to see me. To state it briefly, we had a hard weekend. My thoughts, when I allowed them to, ran – naturally – to mortality. I don’t think preparing for the future is a bad idea; however, walking down that path is surely hard enough once, so I try to cap off those meanderings before I go there mentally ahead of time. Continue reading

The State of the Woods

One week after I photographed the lilac buds in my yard, there are officially lilac leaves on the little bush. Not only is spring early this year – there are reports of cherries blooming now, as opposed to their normal mid-May – but also it seems to be progressing pretty quickly. Since ski season is thoroughly over (a week of 80+ degrees will do that), I guess I don’t mind so much, but I do fear for the agriculture. What’s a fruit tree to do?

3/22…These were just starting to bloom at the end of May last year:

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