Sunday, March 28, 2010

To the woods, the woods

A few weeks ago we went on the first PSMS Spring mushroom hunt to forage for morels in the Tolt River watershed area. The starting point was a State Park near carnation, an area well known to me from that summer we took a share in a CSA and drove out to the far east-side weekly to collect our produce. In a surprising development, Josh came with us despite the early hour and the promise of dragging around the woods hunting for fungi he is not particularly driven to explore gastronomically.

The family set out a bit ahead of the crowd (about 100) to to the cottonwoods, crossing this cable footbridge with wide wooden slats. Once a few people were on board it bounced alarmingly and Wren clung to us as we crossed.

We thought there might be a troll...

This is the view down the river. Scenes like this make me want to buy a canoe and paddle off. The downside of canoeing is that its much harder to paddle upstream and I don't know how we can all paddle and still have someone to fetch us.

Frost looks through a viewing scope which superimposes the image of an old bridge over the river. That bridge was swept away in flooding a few years ago, and a new bridge was built.

"I see a troll!"

We battled through the cottonwoods for a while finding very few fungi. Sometimes I thought it was too wet, othertimes I thought it was too dry. Frost thought it was too nettly, Wren thought it was too brambly. We found some interesting things but no morels!

Frost says "I have become VERY FAT" [he has hidden his coat in his shirt]
"I will defend Wren from trolls"

Of the lot of us, Josh was most overcome with despair at the lack of mushrooms and the seeming endlessness of nature. Coming to a pebbled beach he finally crumbled under the pressure of all the outdoorsyness and buried his face in his hands.

"Perhaps if I press my hands hard against my eyes I will see trolls"

Spirits buoyed by throwing stones into the river, the small band straggled home across the river. The icy water below, the sun above. Wren collected yellow dandelion flowers and Frost tried to make the bridge sway and us fall over.

Notice the stone, suspended at the line between water and bank.

It was a good day of suffering in the woods and we felt justified in relaxing in the living room for the rest of the day and playing with D&Ds.

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