Autumn in the Elgin Valley
He walks……. For mushrooms
He walks……. For mushrooms
The mist in the morning tells you this, hugging everything in its rejuvenation embrace. The rustic colours of the leaves, kiss the ground with a soft lazy breeze flowing between the apple trees. As if hurrying the mist on, so she can give place for the sun to shine through, it’s early and the gloom of the mist gives the orchard a deathly silence. As if the ground is holding her breathe, ready to be expelled, spewing growth, life, abundance, I reflect on this and stand amazed. There is no strain in nature – the rain comes, the ground is wet, the grass grows and it’s as simple as that. I scout the area, bend down and scan the floor between the apple tree trunks and there’s nothing but I push on as it looks like mother nature’s supervisor is off duty. I walk on into a grove of old pines, the first signs of mushrooms are apparent – dead ones though. A helpful tip: get to know your area – poplar, oak, pines, open fields or grass patches are the areas you want to scan for life.
I see a few mounds between the pine trees and I scan the ground looking for any other telltale signs. The needles give way to reveal, a cluster of orange mushrooms, I smile, broadly, being thankful for my blessings. Pine ring, saffron milk cap, Lactarius deliciosus. Haaaa man, it’s a must. Everything about its name be it Latin or common tongue describes this mushroom. From the saffron colour sap, it gives to the hollow stipe.
Latin – Lactarius = giving milk or referring to milk
Deliciosus – delicious
Personal best rating: 8
They have got a nice meaty texture, soft on the palate and as you chew you get a faint taste of the denim kernel/nut taste, just lingering long enough to invite your mouth to salivate for another morsel.
But! I digress, as I get the mushroom off, I take the toothbrush if needed to get the rest of the particulates off, it makes things easier cause you not getting any sand on your other mushies. As I walk looking at another stump I see a protrusion at the base can it be, a whole cluster of milk caps. What a find! I take my time imparting respect and appreciation, the cluster is a true blessing. I am thankful for my blessings, as I walk to the car.
At home, it’s a quick brush off, cut up and into the pan, omelette time.
As I sit down in front of my meal, I give thanks to the blessings I have received. It’s one thing to go out there and spending time in nature, foraging. Waiting for weather, not time. You find a connection with the source of food you have harvested.