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Friday, May 10, 2013

FLD Dutch goes 'shroomin'

I was honored.

The "mushroom queens" invited FLD Dutch and me on a morel mushroom hunt.

Unless you live in Northern Michigan, you might not understand the significance of the honor. Morel hunters guard their sacred grounds with their lives.

Stephanie, her mom Fran, her sister Yevette and her daughter Lilly, (and Yevette's friend Jay) didn't even ask me to wear a burlap bag over my head as we drove to their secret spot deep in the Huron National Forest.

That, my friends, is an honor.

Lilly gave us all handmade name tags as we grabbed our onion bags to head out into the woods. My tag read, "Morel Adams." Another honor--I guess she thinks I take a lot of photographs!

A 7-months-old golden retriever puppy is in the foreground sniffing a log in the early spring woods--the forest floor is covered with dried out leaves and the trees are barely greening with leaves. There are three people in the background.
FLD Dutch sniffs out some fungi on an old log. Those aren't morels!

The evening was warm, the woods dry, the morels small and elusive. Stephanie said, "We just need a bit of rain for them to really pop."

A short-haired woman in the center of the picture is holding up a thumb-sized morel mushroom. She is holding a red mesh onion bag with her mushrooms in it. She is wearing a grey tshirt and blue jeans. A woman on the left side of the photo is wearing a pink long sleeved tshirt and blue jeans, with a light blue sweatshirt tied around her waist and a blue bandana on her head. She also holds a red mesh bag with morels in it. An 11-year-old girl is to the right of the photo. She has blond hair and is wearing a pint short-sleeved shirt and blue jeans. The background is a spring hardwood forest with light colored leaves on the ground.
Stephanie holds up a nice morel. Her mom, Fran is on the left with her onion bag, and Lilly is to the right. Lilly is an eagle-eyed morel hunter!

After three or four hours, the veteran crew had a fairly good take. This rookie found three.

A closeup shot of two small brown morel mushrooms peeking up beneath some green grass, leaves and twigs.
My first two were a pair!

A close up of a brown morel mushroom that had popped up among a bunch of dry, light brown leaves on the forest floor.
This one stuck out like a sore thumb! (sorry)
A brown morel mushroom held in my left hand to demonstrate its size. The mushroom is about as long as my longest finger.
Here's some perspective for you on its size.














I admit I became distracted.

A six-petaled yellow flower on a long stalk, with about six stamen coming out from the middle of it. It is bending forward just a bit. Everything else in the photo is out of focus. To the right at the bottom is a green spottled leaf and to the left a small branch with some leaves sprouting off the end.
A yellow trout lily.

A three petaled white trillium flower bows to the camera, with the background of green leaves and a tree trunk out of focus.
Trillium!

Wildflowers bloomed. Natural springs bubbled. The setting sun cast long shadows through the hazy-budding trees.

Shot from above, a golden retriever puppy leans over a green moss-covered bank to drink water from a natural spring. The spring has leaves floating in it and his lapping is creating small rings across the water. Trees are reflected in the water.
FLD Dutch laps a drink in a natural spring.

I said, The rate of reinforcement isn't high enough.

My comment would have been funnier amongst a group of dog trainers.

If the morels were as copious as the deer droppings that Dutch sniffed out, I might not have lost focus. 

Deer-doo hunter* FLD Dutch looks at the camera. "What?" he seems to be saying.


*Dont' worry, FLD Dutch got lots of practice with "leave it" during our hunt and his ingestion of said morsels was very limited.

4 comments:

  1. Jo here. What an interesting life you lead and what fun friends you have! Lovely pictures!

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    1. Thanks Jo! I am blessed indeed! :)

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  2. mmm...I'm hungry for morels!

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    1. Hey Carolina! Thanks for stopping by!

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