A Mushroom Hunting We Will Go - My Family Travels

In the spring of 2009, on a beautiful Sunday in May and after church, my mom, dad and I put on our hunting clothes that would protect us as we wandered through the woods. I wore my favorite faded blue jeans with threads shredded on the bellbottoms. I also wore a black t-shirt, and a long sleeved sleek jacket that protected me from thorns. Now that we were all ready to go, we headed off in our car for Vandalia, Michigan. A pig farmer friend of my dad’s allows us to hunt on his property. It had been a couple years since we had been there, and much of the land where pigs once had been was now grown over with a lot of foliages. We had been searching for mushrooms in nearby woods located close to our home, but with no success. When we had gone to Michigan to hunt several years ago– I think I was in elementary school– we found bagfuls of those tasty morsels and had a glorious dinner. We had plenty for several days, but, that was a long time ago…

            This year, we had high hopes for another great discovery. So off we went, cruising on the highway for quite some time. As my dad drove, my mom sat in the passenger seat, and I sat in the back gazing dreamily at the leaves sprouting out of the trees and the lilacs in bloom. Lilacs were a great sign for a mushroom. An hour had passed, and I spotted a bear sculpture. This meant that we were very close to the farmer’s home. As we finally arrived, we parked on our farmer friend’s lawn. He and his wife were not home, so we left a note on our windshield to let them know who we were.

We then started our search by walking west around a bend of forest not far from a section of barbed wire fencing. When we spotted an opening in the fence on the property, we carefully crawled up the steep terrain and climbed over an area of the fence that a fallen tree was holding down for us. Rusted brown leaves and rotting tree bark crackled and shuddered as we trudged along. Fresh green vegetations were just beginning to sprout as the vivid colors surrounding us.

With my eyes wide open, I focused intently on the ground for any signs of morels. I was cautiously stepping over some fallen trees, then I stopped to scan the area. As I slowly rotated around, my eyes looking intently, I suddenly spotted a creamy stem penetrating through the ground and a maple colored sponge on top. It was a beautiful and exciting sight to see.  But wait, as I browsed around, I was excited to see that there were duplicates clustered nearby. Eureka! Today would prove to be a great day to find morels! And, I was the first to spot them. I called to my mom and dad as I crept over to where I spotted the mushrooms. My mother had brought her camera, and came by and crouched down to photograph my picking those mushrooms. As I snipped the stems from the ground with my fingertips, my eyes shifted to the right, and I found larger sponge-like mushrooms, this time their heads the color of sand. I felt a jolt of excitement build up within me as I found more and more. On that day, we had the great fortune of finding over three potato bags full of morels. That day was truly a great day for hunting mushrooms.


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