First sighting of marsh marigolds

First sighting of marsh marigolds

Everywhere you go in the woods today there’s an explosion of color, of growth, of spring-time energy!

After months of white, white and more white (oh, add in some gray and black ) it’s FINALLY bursting!  You can’t walk two feet without seeing something new and interesting and sprouting and growing.

I could type for 3,000 words here and never cover half of what happened today outdoors.  I had an entirely different blog planned at 10 a.m.  But today took off on its own direction and revealed its own treasures.

My friend Michelle asked, “Good Morning Michigander!  Those morels out yet?”  and all the previous plans were immediately scrapped.  It was time to find out.  Were the morels poking through?  Pretty please, were the morels growing? 

Time to visit the Special Spot and see.  Unfortunately, the Special Spot was not-so-special last year.  It proved a disappointment.  We harvested, maybe, 20-30 small mushrooms last year.  We have eagerly been awaiting this May to saute those lovely ‘shrooms in olive oil and season with perhaps some thyme and marjoram along with a dash of sea salt. 

I probably need a new Special Spot.  But local people don’t share that information willingly.  Heck, I don’t share my information at all.  What comes around, goes around.  Therefore, you have to pray and search the woods for just the right conditions and maybe you’ll find a golden circle where the delectables are growing.

It looked like it might rain.  But the temperature lingered near 70 degrees and, hey, that’s the best hunting weather.  It’s suppose to drop into the 50’s by the weekend.  Time to hunt.

So you traipse through the woods with a camera, looking at all the interesting sights every two steps.  When suddenly, peering low, I saw:

What is that buried in the old rotting log?

What is that buried in the old rotting log?

Lean down close and scrape away the debris to figure it out.

Can you guess?

Can you guess?

You have to remember I’m walking way back in the woods, fifteen miles from the nearest real town, nowhere near a real house.

It's a golf ball!

It's a golf ball!

You have to wonder:  where in the heck did that golf ball come from?  How many years ago did someone knock it inside a tree?  Then the tree falls over, begins to rot, and eventually the golf ball begins to reveal itself once again.  Mom and Dad, do you want me to bring it home for you?  🙂

Back to the morel hunting expedition. With the thunderstorm coming in.  But wait, what’s that wiggling just ahead?  Could it be the season’s first snake?

Common garter snake.  Can you see it?

Common garter snake. Can you see it?

I tried to lean closer to that snake to get a good portrait pose, but it wiggled its body out of there fast as the lightening starting to crackle on the horizon.  The wind started blowing and the thunder rumbled ominously.  Oh no.  It was probably time to return home, morels or no morels.  But instead I sprinted forward toward the Special Spot.

And, lo and behold:

The first morel mushroom (may there be many more)

The first morel mushroom (may there be many more)

Total find for the day:  two morel mushrooms. They’re soaking in salt water right now.  Hoping for more in a couple days.  If not, we’re frying these two up and eating them anyway!  Two is better than zero morels.

P.S.  only nine wood ticks returned home from this trip.  Is it too personal information to share how many wood ticks one had crawling upon them after every woods-visit?  Should we have a daily count?

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