An Old-Time ‘Fever’
Mushroom hunting fever, that is, which is experienced every spring, when the elusive, unpredictable, edible and indescribably delicious, morel mushrooms – ranging in size from tiny to gigantic – mysteriously appear, in various and unexpected sites in also unpredictable soils, water and even sandy creek bottoms.
The “hunting season” time and length is dictated by the tasty, earthly delicacy itself, which is no doubt influenced by the elements (rain, sun, warmth of the soil) from which their roots gain the nourishment needed to provide a feast fit for a king from old iron skillet.
The is no known cure for mushroom hunting fever, but we have heard of cases when the hunter has succumbed to the joyous experience of eating so many, or of some other happening, that they no longer have the appetite for eating them, but still love to hunt them.
The Legend of the Morel Mushroom …
… grows with each generation as the skills and talent continue to appear in certain families.
I do believe that a successful mushroom hunter of the elusive and mysterious morels is gifted from birth and destined to achieve the wonderful and fulfilling feeling of contentment that he of she must feel – a feeling of pioneer/woodsmen survival skills.
NOTE: I must add that I apparently was not blessed with the above special gift, but I have witnessed such wonders and occurrences, and have also been taken into the confidence of those that have.
Therefore, I feel comfortable sharing them with our readers with complete confidence in the reliability of the integrity.
David Arnold’s Surprising Find…
… while hunting mushrooms.
We, at the Homestead, have discovered that staying home more has blessed us with more time to talk on the phone with friends like Dave Arnold, who shared an unusual experience when hunting mushrooms.
Dave said that he was going to hunt mushrooms and knew that a lot of people hunted them in a timber near the old Liberty Church Cemetery.
He decided to go the other direction of the church and noticed a small area of brush growth.
He poked down into the center of the bush and saw a mushroom grow in a mound in the bush.
“It was one of the biggest mushrooms I have ever found,” he said.
He picked the big morel mushroom and noticed a trap on the mound.
Dave got an even bigger surprise when he pulled the trap out of the brush and saw his dad’s initials (EA) scratched on it.
Dave took the trap to show to his dad, who was ill. His dad laughed and recalled how the trap got there, in a mound.
Years ago, he was trying to trap a coyote and buried a dead skunk as bait, which formed the mound, from which the bush grew and hid the trap, but which, years later, provided a surprise for David and a laugh to enjoy with his dad.
In short, a coyote didn’t take the bait, a bush grew up on the well-fertilized mound of dirt, and was for left for Edward Arnold’s son, David, to find many years later, enough time for the scent to fade away.
David preaches at Haley Chapel and Mt. Carmel churches on Sunday mornings. He is also gifted poet and was the elementary custodian many years.
He was given a prestigious award by a large custodian and academic organization for his outstanding service as custodian.
Shelby Niehaus’ Miraculous Surprise …
… on an unlikely, and evidently one-time-only morel Mushroom site.
Shelby said she once found 30 mushrooms growing out of the sand in a creek bed.
She said mushrooms had never grown there before or after.
Shelby is the editor of the St. Elmo Banner and Altamont newspapers. She is also a writer and a very real help to the employees of the papers.
She is interested in the communities, and appreciates the items and announcements submitted for the newspapers.
Homestead Morel Mushroom Miracles
Cora’s Miraculous Mushroom Patch
As our previous readers may remember, Cora was a little girl who had a terminal health condition, and loved all God’s creatures, people and our woods, which she liked to walk, play in, and hunt mushrooms with us.
She would pick wildflowers, and look for turtles while we looked for mushrooms.
As her health worsened, she also developed CHF, and she could not walk very far into the woods, so she would ride her pony, Cloudy, the Wonder Horse.
However, one day she asked to just walk on our woods path, which started at the edge of our yard.
A few feet on the path into the woods was a little area that always looked like a good place for mushrooms.
But we would look there every time we went mushroom hunting, and there was never any growing there.
As Cora and I began our walk, she walked only a few feet and had had to sit down along the path, right at the spot we had always checked out for mushrooms.
As she rested, we saw there were several morel mushrooms around her and then kept finding them, all within reach of her little arms.
She picked them all and was so excited and proud that she would provide mushrooms for Papa Bear’s (grandpa Bill) supper. I stood there, amazed.
As with Shelby’s mushroom patch, Cora’s also never had mushrooms before or since (26 years ago).
We check every year and have not found one there since.
That was the last year Cora was on earth for the mushroom season.
She went on to Heaven that following November.
We have thought of placing a permanent “mushroom” on the spot, not to remind us of Cora, but to remind us of her faith and the blessings the Lord gives us, such as our time with Cora.