Mushroom Trip


It was a beautiful day out yesterday, so after a small amount of work in the morning, we decided to take advantage of it. Olaf suggested we go mushroom picking and I of course said “Sure…Wait, come again? Mushroom picking?” Yes, he wanted to drive 30 Km or so to a public forest and go looking for mushrooms. I guess I lump this in with other forms of German “Naturism” where they get “back to nature” by removing their clothes in open fields or grassy areas near lakes at any opportunity. Looking for mushrooms in a dank, smelly forest filled with bugs and boars and shit must likewise feel more “natural” to them than surfing the internet or having a beer at a pub. And since my own, personal aesthetics compel me to try anything I have not yet done before at least once, I agreed and off we went. I imagined it would be difficult to find mushrooms, but in fact they were everywhere. Except for the fact that the most common orange ones I saw all over the place were apparently not the ones we were looking for. I learned to identify at least a couple of types and found a few of the edible ones, as Olaf pointed out to me that the other ones might be edible, or they might be poisonous, or they might just have little to no flavor. Of course the ones we were looking for were hiding a lot of the time, covered up by grass and a color of brown at the top that tended to aid in their camouflage. It actually turned out to be kind of meditative and nice, one really needed to slow down and pay attention to the surrounding area to find them, and it really made you notice all types of thing in detail in the forest. Things like the beetles, the ticks, the broken branches, the grasses and mosses, the texture of the ground, the slimy coating on so many things, the smell of decaying trees and boar dung, and every so often, a prized mushroom. We collected a bunch of them (well, Olaf did; I collected about 5 or 6, but was happy to have found any since I was off to a slow start) and last night had a delicious mushroom pasta. Having woken up this morning not poisoned and still very much alive, I count yesterday’s adventure as a success.