(who knows how we found these - as small as my ring - phew!)
This year we did not get out until the end of the season - since it was so warm this year, the season was a bit early, and unfortunately, a bit spotty. But we set out early Saturday morning with optimism! Ella was excited to be riding on my back, instead of my front like she usually does.
(she only got hit in the face with a branch once!)
She was a real trooper, but not so helpful in actually spotting any mushrooms, however, we figure starting her out early in life will lead to excellent morel hunting skills later on!
(I love this picture - Ella was taking a stretch break).
Last year I was newly pregnant while hunting and remember feeling very tired, dragging myself through the woods, discouraged we were not finding as much as I had hoped (even though in actuality we found hundreds!), and then not really enjoying my cooked mushrooms later in the evening.
(Ben found this perfect specimen along with two others under a live Ash tree.)
This year was very different - this year I found our strolls through the green forest to be cathartic. Eyes looking up to spot Ash and Elm trees then sweeping down to try to catch a glimpse - under a leaf, behind a trunk. The excitement of spotting a morel was heard clearly as I walked alone in the woods and then heard a great "whoop!" from our friend Esther, as she came upon a small clearing of morels!
(Look at that monster morel that Tom found - wow!)
Sometimes I forget how good it is for the soul to get out of the city and into the woods. Sitting alone with Ella quietly playing on a rock, listening to the birds, trees, wind, I promised myself and my daughter that we would journey out to nature away from the city more than once a year. Forest preserves - here we come!!!
(a handful of tasty!)
P.S. In other news, I'm taking an art journaling class and may share some of my pages. It has been a welcome artistic change in my life - I had been in a bit of a creative rut!