Mushroom Fever

My first morel of 2013
After years of observing the seasons, the only conclusion I can draw about springtime in the Rockies is that it is invariably sudden. Last year, a switch flipped, and dry brown winter turned into dry brown summer. This year, it looked to be more of the same. Dry brown winter threatened another summer of devastating fires. Then something funny happened starting in March. It snowed every week, in great big wet storms. I watched as the rest of the country proclaimed spring, showing off pictures of flower buds and grasses. And every time I turned around, it was snowing, and freezing. Still, memory of the drought made me hold my tongue, as I dare not complain about blessed moisture.

So I waited, and waited, my foraging bone aching for the arrival of our spring. Each time the flakes started to fall, there was a tiny part of me that feared it would never actually come. And then, suddenly, came the turn. Within two days time, the ground became shockingly green, and all the trees had leaves.

I can tell, summer is in a hurry to get here, so spring is being compressed into just a few short weeks, which only increases its amplitude. This year is a big spring, booming and shaking across the prairie. The asparagus is growing like mad, the few trees that still feel the urge to bloom are doing their best, and the mushrooms are making a good showing.

Spring on a plate - asparagus, morels, and eggs with hollandaise.
And you know how I feel about mushrooms. I have it, the disease that overtakes people who covet fungus. At times like this, it burns at nothing short of a fever. Someone should probably fetch a cold cloth for my forehead.
See all of those nooks and crannies? It's like they were made for butter.
Heartbreak! Someone got to this morel before me.
Mochella esculenta, aka "blondies"


Pleurotus pulmonarius, oyster mushrooms
Oyster mushrooms on cottonwood stump
Calvatia booniana, giant western puffballs
Emerging shaggy mane, Coprinus comatus
Mature shaggy mane

Comments

  1. Love shaggy manes - also delicious with butter. Very envious of your haul...

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    Replies
    1. They have such a rich and strong flavor. It's just hard to get them home quickly enough to eat.

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  2. I didn't realize you guys had so many mushrooms.

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    Replies
    1. When there's enough moisture, they like to come out to play.

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  3. Just look at those morals!

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    Replies
    1. I'm known for my outstanding morals.

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  4. Jealous. I don't think there are any mushrooms where I live in Colorado.

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  5. My god. Those are beautiful. And hunger inducing.

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    Replies
    1. I've had a lot of good meals in the last week.

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  6. That's how you eat?

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    Replies
    1. You mean a lot of butter and mushrooms? Yes. That's how I eat :)

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  7. I really envy your lifestyle. These are so beautiful. To see such things.

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  8. Yes, I daresay those nooks and crannies were made just for Butter. Now be careful, fevers are contagious;)

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