I was outside when the sun was too high, so I hope you enjoy the subjects of the photos. The pictures themselves aren’t great.
I suppose first I’ll tell you the adventure part, as the photos are pretty self-explanatory. I set out toward the back of our property, heading toward the area that is the best mushroom habitat around, by a little steep-banked creek. I never made it that far. There were many blowdowns, thick underbrush, hills and a steep ravine. I didn’t make it back that far, either!
I did make it a few hundred steeply sloped feet. I found several varieties of LBM’s (little brown mushrooms) that the experts have difficulty identifying. I also found a couple of medium tan-colored mushrooms that I intended to try to identify when I got back to the house. And several tiny orange mushrooms that looked a little chanterellish, but it’s way too early for them. They went in my bag to identify, too.
(But — pink ladyslippers are blooming! They were my consolation prize.)
Anyway, I got very tired and out of breath, so decided I’d better head (uphill) home. I climbed one little ridge, and that was it. I sat down on a thick cushion of forest duff and hyperventilated for a while.
I was going to stay there until I recuperated, but then I heard some of the dogs that run free around here sounding like they were fighting. That REALLY scared me, so I bushwacked over blowdowns, greenbrier, blackberry bushes, sapling trees… until I couldn’t go any farther.
This time I found a nice log to sit on. I beat on it with my hiking pole and prodded around to make sure there were no nasty critters under it, sat down, and the log cracked and sent me tumbling.
So I phoned Ron and told him where I was and asked him to bring me my inhaler. After using that, I felt better. And after resting a while, we made it home.
Exhausted, I threw the mushrooms I had planned to identify in the trash, too tired to mess with them, and crashed for a long nap.
So, apparently the COPD is getting worse… which means stick to easy trails and always carry my inhaler.
Before I headed into the woods I saw a couple of bull thistles with flower stalks and unopened flowers. At this stage the prickly flower stalks are downy and can be easily held with bare fingers.
I had them in my mushroom basket, so did put them into the refrigerator before I crashed.
When I got up, it was an easy job to scrape the down off the flower stalks and pop them in the pan with my chicken stew. At this young stage they have a very mild celery flavor, and they didn’t add anything to the dish I was cooking except fun.
When the stalks get older, they get prickly and hollow. I hold them with a pair of needle-nose pliers and peel off the prickles with a pocket knife. They have an intense celery flavor and are much better for cooking. They get tough at that stage though, so need to be sliced thinly then.
So today was a good news-bad news day.
Oh, I almost forgot! I saw the plastic surgeon this morning who will be tightening up my droopy eyelids which is supposed to improve my vision significantly. I hope it does. But I’m secretly thrilled that my eyes will look better, too!