Mushrooms

Wertingen Travel Blog

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New mushrooms from a pine cone

The forest had a spongy floor that was scattered with clover, ferns, and moss. Arrow-straight pine trees towered to the sky like giant spears of asparagus blocking sunlight. Benno knew the time and place to look for mushrooms five kilometers from town. They appeared in the fall season when moisture and temperatures were just right. His skilled eye spotted them from thirty yards away while I had to practically step on them before seeing them. I was amazed at their many shapes, sizes, and colors. From the variety of well over a dozen, only two or three were edible. The most common was light brown with a classic rounded top. White pock marks from browsing insects or squirrels didn't matter. Another he gathered was white in color, about the size of a golf ball, and had the rough texture of a miniature cauliflower.

Sprouts from a fallen tree
I only found eight or so of the brown ones while Benno had his cotton tote-bag practically full - a kilo or more - along with several of the white.

 

Quite pleased with our take, we quietly nursed a couple of beers that Benno had packed into the compartment under the motorbike seat. We hoped to catch sight or sound of a small deer or a wild pig. Large areas of ground had been tilled by wild pigs feeding on another, rare and prized, variety of mushroom that grew beneath the surface. But other than a few insects and several spiders, we saw no other wildlife.

 

We headed back toward town and made a visit to Willie's place. He was one of the last farmers in the area and had sold his few remaining cows just this past week.

Helga and Willie
He found it difficult and confusing going from the ever-busy, sun up to sundown, life of a dairy farmer to one of unwanted retirement. Willie and his cheery rotund wife Helga brought us steins of a homemade apple wine. We sat outside at a shaded picnic table near abandoned farm buildings and toasted cheers of "Prost!". The damp and dark milk-house still held the feel and odors of its recently departed occupants. Benno left Willie and Helga some of the mushrooms.

 

Back at the house, Benno cut up the remaining mushrooms and prepared an excellent Bavarian meal by mixing them with egg, pieces of bacon, spices, and a few other vegetables from his garden. Friends came over to share in the organic feast. The every-day practicality, kindness, and generosity of the Bavarians were all admirable, especially in tough economic times.

 

TRE69 says:
Sounds like an awesome time foraging for mushrooms!=D
Posted on: Feb 10, 2010
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New mushrooms from a pine cone
New mushrooms from a pine cone
Sprouts from a fallen tree
Sprouts from a fallen tree
Helga and Willie
Helga and Willie
Deer blind on the edge of woods
Deer blind on the edge of woods
Corn and woods
Corn and woods
Edge of the forest
Edge of the forest
Clovers, ferns, and moss
Clovers, ferns, and moss
Tree growth
Tree growth
Mushroom
Mushroom
Big red mushroom
Big red mushroom
Fruity inside, unedible
Fruity inside, unedible
Another unedible
Another unedible
Spider in the forest
Spider in the forest
Apple wine
Apple wine
Abandoned milk-house
Abandoned milk-house
Willies hat
Willie's hat
Cutting mushrooms
Cutting mushrooms
Wertingen
photo by: rotorhead85