Sunday, May 15, 2011

Hunting the Morel

Hunting the Morel Mushroom should be a very safe ritual in the spring.

The birds are singing in the forest,
a pine warbler calls,
a blue jay squawks,
a wren scolds,
...the forest is alive with music and sounds.

A doe pops up under the greening underbrush and bounces off through the woods with her huge tail 'flagging' in alarm.

The creek's waters run over the rocks making such sweet music.

Humming along with my Nikon suspended in my camera backpack [for I am determined this day to find some gray morels and take some absolutely fantastic shots of them...], I beebop along an old well used deer trail.
In the winter I used this same trail for hiking.
During all seasons...I use this trail.

Today I am in a hurry, yet happy as a lark. It is raining just a bit, the sky is covered in grey matter that promises more rain.
The lighting will be awesome once I find some morels. *Just perfect!* I think, with the right amount of overcast and the right ISO settings, I'll have the ultimate morel photo.

Yup.
Yup.
Step over a log.
Step over a root.
Start down a steep bank.
Get to the bottom and...
I look up at the opposite bank~~~
there they are.
Two perfect Grey Morals nestled on a green mossy rocks.

The robins sing their rain song happily.
I am focused.

Step down, step forward to cross the creek...
...and the next thing I know is that I am having the shock of my life.

My right arm is up to its elbow in creek water.
My right knee is on the creek bottom, this part of me is suddenly soaked with cold, chilled, fresh water.
My vision is obscured by water that has splashed up and covered my glasses.
I am stung by sudden and intense pain from where my left knee has collided with a huge boulder.

What?
I rock back onto the creek bank and sit down hard grabbing my leg.
Crap, did anyone see me?
I look around through watery eyes and 'watered' glasses.
For a few moments I rock back and forth while cursing and muttering.
Then I think of the Nikon suspended in my backpack and breath a sigh of relief that I decided on the backpack instead of the shoulder bag.

A wren scolds me from somewhere above.
I grin and stand up testing my legs.
Everything seems to work fine.

I carefully unpack my camera and dump the sodden gloves next to it on a rock. I put the Nikon on by the strap around my neck and carefully climb the opposite creek bank.
I have to plant my feet in loose dirt and lean into brambles, briers, and prickly ash to get *the shot*.

One shot, two shots.
I carefully review the shots on the camera.
Perfect.

I thank the Morel Fairies and slide back down the bank into the water.





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