Thursday, January 1, 2009

Family Mushroom Hike

Today Eric, his dad Bob, Amber, Autumn and I went on a 4-hour hike to look for mushrooms. The girls were real troopers. We started out hiking the trails near the river bottom in Ojai, and ended up way back in the canyon. It was beautiful, and the prime place for mushrooms. We saw russulas, boletes, waxy caps, destroying angels (those are deadly) and LBMs (little brown mushrooms). Along our hike, when we would see a mushroom near the trail, we often would kick it over and leave it upside down near the trail (keep this piece of info in mind for the end of my story). We ended up picking the stalks of a ton of Honey Mushrooms (the stalks are the best part to eat) and a huge Lion's Mane. This mushroom is the size of a cantaloupe and grows on a tree and really resembles it's name. I wish I had taken a picture before we cut it up and ate some of it. Anyway, on the way back down the trail Eric had the Lion's Mane in his hand and several people stopped to ask what it was. One man was really intrigued by our shrooms and their interesting names. He was all excited and asked this question, "What do you call the mushrooms that grow upside down by the side of the trail?" It was all I could do to not bust up laughing at him. Eric kindly said with a smirk, "Those are the mushrooms we kicked over earlier on our hike." When he left, we had a good laugh.

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