"The tragic reality is that very few sustainable systems are designed or applied by those who hold power, and the reason for this is obvious and simple: to let people arrange their own food, energy and shelter is to lose economic and political control over them. We should cease to look to power structures, hierarchical systems, or governments to help us, and devise ways to help ourselves." - Bill Mollison

Monday, May 11, 2009

The First Morel

We went deep into the forest. Searching, hunting for a fascinating little treasure that is found for only a brief period of time in the mountains of Northern Idaho early each spring. No time to look at flowers on this trip, we were on a distinct mission.

Past beaver dams.

And past the trees they had chiseled away.

Stopping only to reflect upon the beauty that engulfed us on every front, we diligently trudged onward.

Then, at the end of a long waterway, there it was...the first morel. A superb example of Morchella elata, the black morel. Proudly standing alone, its siblings still undercover, we took only a picture and that was enough.


Silke said...

Oh, I love morels! We used to collect and eat them when we lived in Michigan! In my family we collected many mushrooms every year and all our friends were always afraid we'd poison ourselves... I remember we had a mushroom book that I read from cover to cover as a kid, being especially fascinated by the ones with a skull and crossbones next to them. ;-) You all take gorgeous photos!! Silke

Mr. H said...


We gather morels every spring from early may into the first part of June. The only other mushroom we are brave enough to try are shaggy manes...so good.


Silke said...

We ate lots of shaggy manes (Schopftintling in German) - they grew in our yard and in our neighbor's yard. We'd ask if we could pick theirs and they always reluctantly agreed, calling us the next day to make sure we were still alive. There were probably 10 different kinds of mushrooms my parents knew well and that grew abundantly in the German forests. In Germany you can take your basket of mushrooms to the apothecary who will make sure all is edible... :) Silke

Mr. H said...


I hope to someday meet up with someone that can teach me more about the different types of edible mushrooms that grow in our area. I do know that many of the ones around here are very poisonous so we are extremely careful.

Germany sounds very similar to Northern Idaho...interesting.


SuburbanGardener said...

That wilderness is inspiring. Are you saying you walked from your place to there? Man, that is nuts. We saw some beaver dams in Colorado last year, but to walk there.... nice.

Mr. H said...


I wish we could have walked there from our place but unfortunately it is about a 10 mile drive away. We have 11.5 acres but do have neighbors on three sides...more every year. It is really quiet here in the winter but as our bottom field meets up with a public park it can be a real zoo around here in the summer.

We are lucky though as there are hundreds of miles of wilderness areas full of mountains lakes, and places to gather wild edibles all around this area. We spend as much of our spare time as possible in those parts of Idaho and Montana.


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