I found a mushroom!… and another one… and another one… I am very excited!
Well, it definitely needs an explanation. It was my family tradition that every summer friends and relatives would gather in our country home and go mushroom picking. Then, they will be cleaned and prepared in many different ways: dried, pickled, marinated… Oh, those sweet childhood memories. I lived and visited many different places around the world since then, but they were so different in climate, flora and fauna that I never dared to try any local mushrooms. There is a golden rule in mushroom picking: unless you are absolutely sure it is edible do not touch it. Even the same variety of mushrooms can become poisonous in different climate: what is edible in colder wetter climate may become poisonous in drier hot conditions. Anyway, without lecturing too much, I knew the danger and was not eager to try my luck, so I just put my mushroom hunting skills on the back of my mind. Up until one day in August 2013 when we went hiking in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
Trees, flowers, berries looked strangely familiar: almost as I remember forests of my childhood days. You can not teach an old dog new tricks, but the old ones are stuck in memory forever. Well, my mushroom hunting instincts kicked in with familiar smell of wet earth, ripe berries and pine needles. Evidently, hikers were not interested in mushrooms, so I easily found first one, then more and more. It was like a game: you know where to look, so let’s see if it’s there.
There were plenty of different mushrooms around. We made some pictures, but stopped short of picking any mushrooms for culinary purposes. As I mentioned, the forest looked very close to what I was used to, but still not the same, so I could not be 100% sure of edibility factor.
Next day, I tried to identify my trophies by googling them. I knew for sure that I found Porcini mushroom, but the rest was less certain. Hence, I decided that I resort to a more contemporary activity of photo hunting.