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Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014

Secret mushroom patch waiting in Highland Township

Posted Wednesday, April 13, 2011, at 12:41 PM

Somewhere in Highland Township, there's a patch of mushrooms popping up that would fill a big brown grocery sack.

There's no good path to find it -- it's a long journey on foot to a pretty little clearing in the woods and one must walk and walk and walk to get there. This place is so far back, it'll bout walk the legs off any little girl who is trying to keep up with her grandpa who's making the trek. I have first-hand experience.

Since my Grandpa Clovis has been gone, we've had some mushrooms now and then, but no feasts.

When he was around, springtime brought morels to our table, I mean a lot of them. I would eat fried mushrooms until I could eat no more and there would still be some left on the table. That's because there really wasn't any "hunt" involved in getting them. For years I had no idea that these things were hard to come by.

When it was mushroom time, Clovis would drive over to Highland and return a short time later with a sack full. Then a day or two later, he'd do it again. It was a chore for my grandma and mother to then take care of these big bags of morels. But I loved those mushrooms

One year, and just this one time, he took me along. He was very tall and lanky with a long stride and didn't believe in walking slow -- you had to keep up or be left behind. Now I know he never would have deserted me, but I didn't know that at the time so I huffed and puffed to keep up, scared of being lost in the woods.

I think he took me around in circles, but eventually we came out of the woods into this clearing. He walked over to a fallen tree, handed me the sack, sat down, leaned up against the fallen tree and proceeded to take (or look like he was taking) a nap. He told me to wake him up when I was done picking mushrooms.

I didn't even see them at first, but sack in hand, when I looked closer, I was stepping on them. They were everywhere. I'd never seen anything like it before or since. I doubt if I ever do again, because there is no way I could find that place again.

But I know it exists because I filled that brown sack. Really. I couldn't carry it. He carried it back and when we got home, nobody seemed surprised. He came back in with these sacks all the time. It was just standard operating procedure for him.

So when mushroom time rolls around every spring, I think of that trip and in my memory, I can see that place and I see him resting against that log pretending to be asleep.

He's probably there now, napping in the sun and grinning from ear to ear because nobody can find his mushroom spot.

Anna is a staff writer at the Greene County Daily World and can be reached by calling the office at 847-4487 or by sending an email to indianarose@fastmail.us .



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