One part of the shop that we have always enjoyed is the natural wonders element that we present. Foraging, and in particular mushroom hunting, has long been on of my favorite pastimes. Is it the way that picking your own food makes it taste better, like in your garden? Or is it the knowledge that the kind of mushrooms we generally hunt for have a very specific time and condition in which they fruit? Is it simply the scarcity of the limited harvest? Or is the amount of hard work and experience that inflates their value? My best guess is all of the above. And the result is an obsessive crawl through the underbrush looking for just the right tree to host a mycorrhizal relationship with the objects of our pursuit.
The reason this is on my mind is that overnight we scored some august drizzle. This and the fog are the early signs that the mushroom season is coming. Usually a few anomalous early boletes and chanterelles start showing up, helping to build up the excitement. The whopping bolete harvest will come shortly after the first good spurt of rain.
The photo is a throwback to last seasons shop foray at our secret Elk River location. You can see Brook and I collecting some firm young boletes. We were lucky too, because the flies had not yet found them.