Ode to Morel Mushrooms: Mysterious Fungi

 There are many myths and old wife’s tales on how to find Morel Mushrooms. Some people say there is a science to finding them when the season comes. Some people say there is a special way to hunt for these tasty morsels. Some wont say a thing; it’s a secret on how to find them or where to look. These people keep their lips sealed in silence and slip through the weeds and thorns to find this mysterious fungi. 

I do not know the exact science of finding these mushrooms, nor do I claim to know all the tricks of the trade. I do know you need springy days of strolling through the woods and a sharp shooter’s eye.

You just never know where they may pop up.

When the sun is shining through bare branches and budding trees,

and blossoms burst through the forest,

 it just might be Morel Mushroom time.

After spring showers and muddy shoes,

and dogwoods and daffodils dance wildly in the breeze,

it just might be Morel Mushroom time.

When you wade through Mayflowers and mossy ferns,

as you rifle through leafy litter of last fall,

it just might be Morel Mushroom time.

When the weekly weather forecast climbs into the 70’s,

and you are counting the days after the last rainfall,

it just might be Morel Mushroom time.

When you are scouring the woods for dead elms,

and checking around rotting stumps and decaying logs,

it just might be Morel Mushroom time.

When you find yourself reciting instructions on how to find these camouflaged fungi and are lost in the woods with no compass…

and your eyes are popping out of your head and you have an empty sack blowing in the wind…

and your feet are soggy for not paying attention and stepping in that creek and cocker burrs are clinging to your sweatshirt…

It definitely is Morel Mushroom time!

Keep looking. You never know where they might pop up.

I only found two little baby ones last weekend. It was still a little chilly.

But I did find two cute boys.

I did have great company mushroom hunting, but we didn’t cover much ground, which is probably why we only found two. Oh well, next time. It was also hard carrying Collin through the woods on my hip and dodging thorny bushes.

I did find 6 four-leaf clovers though! As I walked out of the woods I set Collin down for a little rest…and just happened to set him down in the middle of a four-leaf clover path. What luck!

Can you share any of your secrets? Where is the strangest place you found mushrooms? What is the largest one you found?

Happy Hunting!


Winter Desert

The sunshine glaring through the windows creates a mosaic pattern on my hardwood floors,

light, dark, medium, tan,

 bronze, beige, and brown woodgrain,

play in patterns on my dining room floor.

The icicles drip like leaky faucets from the awnings until they completely disappear. The crispy ice that is frosting the trees crackles and crumbles onto frozen sidewalks.

I look out my dining room window where last years garden looks like a dusty desert with crispy left over plants from last season. It is a brown oasis in the middle of a snow bank. I never got to pull it out last year because I was in the hospital (which I will write about at a later date).

Looking at it makes me sad. Sad that I missed the last harvest. You can see an over-ripened tomato frozen and opaque, sagging from the brittle vine. A bright red jalapeno clings to a brittle branch.

I’m missing the days that Bradley and I would walk around barefoot picking peppers and watering the garden. I would also send him through a jungle of tomatoes, holding up a couple of branches, “Get the RED ones.” I was too pregnant to squeeze in there anyway.

I’m ready for spring. I’m ready for green grass between my toes and hot cement burning my bare feet. I’m ready for sun burns and fireflies. Mosquito bites and birds chirping. Lemonade and iced tea. Air conditioning and water slides. Flower gardens and steaks on the grill. Ok…forget spring. I’m ready for summer.

I was really debating on whether or not I was going to plant a garden this year, considering I am so busy with all these children. But I have talked myself into it. I managed to do it last year when  I was big and pregnant, so I can do it this year with babies in tow. 

I am ready to dig in the dirt, pull weeds, and eat veggies. I think the kids would also miss running through it to get the baseball and hearing me yell, “Get out of the garden unless you’re going to pull weeds!”

C’mon snow! MELT!!!

Melt, melt, melt it all away!

Love the Napolean Dynamite boots!

The temperature was in the 40’s today. It was like a heat wave. It is our spring thaw and all those piles of snow are finally melting. Yayyyy!!!

Collin distracted by the puddles.

AND…we went on our first walk of the season. It was a ton of fun and quite an adventure, even though we didn’t even make it around the block.

I was procrastinating getting the day going; taking my sweet time checking my Facebook, reading my list of never-ending blogs, texting a friend back and forth, which ended up amounting to a long letter. It was beginning to be late morning and the babies were sleeping again and Collin was secured in his high chair. I was totally enjoying this little bit of free time. I even let Collin have seconds on cereal to drag it out a little bit longer.

As I lounged on the couch with my laptop, the kids enjoying Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, I kept noticing the sun shining in the dining room window. “Man, it really looks nice out,” I told Bradley. I peeked ou the door as I let the dog out…was it ever nice out!

 “Kids, we are breaking out of the house!”  

By this time I had wasted a good portion of the morning. If we were going to get out and enjoy this weather we would have to get a move on. FAST!

mallie in bunny suit

First, I have to get this gang ready to go. Which is easier said than done. I have to wrangle and wrestle Collin to get his coat on. He breaks for a fast get away and I grab his arm and turn him into his coat and zip it before he even knows what hit him. I’m also feeling quite proud and cocky at how easy that was, like a seasoned mom. Then I have to get the twins ready. Elsie is starting to scream, as usual, poor girl and her reflux. Mallie is just hanging out waiting. I’m grabbing their snow suits and turn around, Collin already has his shoes and socks off. GEEZ! I ignore it and get the girls zipped up into their pink bunny suits from Aunt Shirley (which always remind me of the movie, “Christmas Story.”) Thank goodness Bradley can get his own shoes and coat on.


I rush, rush, rush to get everyone ready. Get  Collin’s shoes on, AGAIN! Make 3 trips to get everyone out the door. Try to figure out the stroller and cuss it out a little for not working like I want it to. Trying to hurry because I have one fussing baby and the other screaming. Try not to have a mommy meltdown when I can’t get all  my children in the stroller. I am squeezing and prodding to get the girls in one seat, just not working. I lay one of the twins in the car to get the other situated. I am juggling babies in arms and strollers and cars. I am also keeping my other eye on Collin, who is running around the garage with one shoe on and the other off. Darn kid! Are we ever going to get out of here?

When I finally get us all ready, I’m sweating and tired. But we are off. And I just keep thinking, this is a lot of work just to go for a short walk.

My view

We don’t even get 10 steps down the alley and poor little Collin already fell flat on his face, skinning his hands and there is a little blood on his lip. I pick him up and brush him off, and he is off and running again. He was so cute, trying to keep up with his brother on the bike and trying not to get ran over by the stroller.  haha.  He was having fun, except when his shadow kept following him. That was really distracting for him, along with the puddles. Poor kid needs to get out more. Thank goodness spring is almost here.

Bradley also fell off his bike and SPLAT, right into a puddle. He was covered in mud. He stood up and looked at me, confused and disoriented, like I pushed him. I tried not to laugh as he realized he was covered in mud. I reassured him he would wash. Man, my boys sure are clean freaks. I will blame this on their dad. 🙂

We ended up only making it down the alley and around the corner before the stroller, which is the size of a semi, got stuck and there were to many snow drifts blocking our way. So we turned around and headed back for home. We had a blast, and it is always a fun-filled adventure with this gang. I just remember to keep my sense of humor and it all works out, because it never goes as planned.

I can’t wait for more nice days like this. Maybe next time we will be able to stay out a little while longer.