Have you ever noticed that for some activities you can be in tip-top shape, while others (like foraging) through a forest for mushrooms can kick your ass?
Foraging Isn’t Really For Me
I could ride my bicycle for miles and miles. I can even still run some and walk for hours without getting weary. So, I’m in pretty decent shape aerobically.
But put me in a forest foraging for wild mushrooms and I’m exhausted within a few minutes.
This past week, Thaddeus took me to his favorite place for chanterelles. We dressed in light clothes, head-to-toe (long-sleeve, long pants and tube socks). Then we doused ourselves in bug spray and headed into the woods. We each carried our own mushroom basket and mushroom knife.
The 1/8th mile on the trail was easy. It was flat and mostly in the shade. But then we headed up the hill. Through ferns, and brambles and fallen sticks we hiked. We went through ditches, under low-hanging branches and around prickers. We found patches of very early chanterelle mushrooms and we stooped down to pick them.
I must say, the mushrooms were beautiful.
20 minutes of finding mushrooms and I was ready to go home. I was drenched in sweat. My legs felt heavier than the logs I was climbing over. The bugs were swarming (a little), and my pants were wet-chafing the inside of my thighs.
But I knew this routine all too well. Thaddeus can do this for HOURS! So, I trudged on, trying to pace myself. I knew I was in for the long haul. Another bad sign was that we were about a week too early to get tons of chanterelles. Yes, there were a nice number of them, but to fill our baskets, it was going to take a while.
A Foraging Miracle!
Then a miracle happened. Or two actually. Thaddeus tripped and fell. I know, I sound like an awful person. But he didn’t hurt himself. And he was grateful his sciatica wasn’t made worse by his tumble. And then the second miracle. He fell again. It was kind of damp and slippery in the forest and Thaddeus took a misstep. Again he wasn’t hurt, and his sciatica wasn’t exacerbated by the fall.
After about an hour in the forest, the second fall made him want to finish up and leave. I was honestly grateful.
We did both end up with a decent basket of mushrooms. This is mine.
Thaddeus had more in his basket. And they were excellent quality.
Yes, I will go back out foraging for mushrooms with Thaddeus. And I will forage for as long as he wants to. But this past session was a bit of a blessing.
I’m trying to power through my latest project, the Fight On Project Bag by Dario Tubiana.
I’m about 4/5ths through the front side of the bag. Once I’m through with the intarsia charts for the tip of the fist, it should go a bit more quickly.
This will be a very cool bag when it’s finished and it helps to support the Black Lives Matter cause. I’m hoping all my readers will purchase this pattern or directly donate to the movement if you can.
2 comments on “Foraging”
Chanterelle mushrooms contain high amounts of ergocalciferol, more commonly referred to as vitamin D2, which helps the body absorb calcium. These meaty mushrooms also contain significant amounts of protein, vitamin A, potassium, iron, chromium and eight essential amino acids. (source: https://www.specialtyproduce.com/produce/Chanterelle_Mushrooms_705.php) You lucky lucky man. Sorry you got so tired. Maybe you need to eat some Chanterelles to keep your strength up.
Thanks for sharing this pattern. I have also started working it. I decided to knit in the white lines in the wrist and hand rather than duplicate stitching them. I’m also working on a sweater so I don’t know when I’ll get time to finish this but I will eventually. Great idea! This is so important for our future as a society. BLM!