Mushroom Hunters

Just because I’ve posted something new doesn’t mean you can’t weigh in on the Great Baby Naming Debate!

Sunday morning we drove up Mill Creek in the Paradise Valley on a search for mushrooms–specifically morels. The Wicked Creek fire burned around 30,000 acres last summer (the Forest Service closed almost the whole drainage in August and September) and morels, like many other shrooms come up after a good burn.

We didn’t find a single mushroom, but we did have fun getting covered in shiny black dust, admiring the huge creek and being outside. Diesel entertained himself by throwing a log into the creek and then swimming after it; Rigby pranced around, chewed on a bird carcass and dug for ground squirrels; Anders got really dirty; and Henry and I took turns escorting the little guy around and looking for mushrooms.

Additionally, Rigby got a good FURminating (we try to do that outside, away from our house), Diesel fetched a ball, and I got to spend a little time with some wildflowers. Then we ate PB&J sandwiches and grapes before heading home.


Anders preps for the mushroom hunt.

Shooting Star

Shooting Star
Rigby finds direction

Rigby finds his way.
Shooting star

Don’t you know that you are a shooting star…

Down valley

Looking down the Mill Creek drainage
Rigby Was Here!

Rigby Was Here!
Anders in the truck

Here’s where Anders rides.
Anders and Henry walk

Anders and Henry start the hunt.
Burnt trees

Burnt trees
Red ant nest

Red ant nest
No sunnies

Anders removes Henry’s sunglasses.
Sitting in the dirt

Sitting in the ashes of the forest that once was.
Rigby is adorable

Rigby searches for ‘shrooms.
A in the wods

Anders keeps an eye to the ground.
Yellow daisy

Yellow Daisy
Henry, Anders and Diesel

Henry, Anders and Diesel cuddle it up.

Rigby and I share a kiss…
Rigby leaves

…and then he is out of there.
Dandy offer

Dandelions anyone?
Dandy for Diesey

Diesel abstains from dandelion eating.

The morel search reminded me of when I lived in Sequoia National Park for a summer while I worked as a cave guide. There had been fires near Lodgepole (where we all lived) and everyone on Cave Row (the little stretch of employee housing where the caving folks resided–I think everyone called it that, but I could be misremembering) went morel crazy.

Coming home from the cave one afternoon, my very good (and tiny) friend, Jen, and I got dropped off at a burn site. At first we walked around thinking there were none to be seen, when suddenly morels seemed to pop out everywhere. Once you’ve seen one, you can see all of them. We filled up a backpack. Then we hitched home with some Germans in a rented R.V.

We weren’t the only ones who picked bushels of shrooms, everyone on Cave Row seemed to have a freezer full of morels. Whenever we had potlucks, which was quite often, most of the dishes were morel-oriented. By the end of the summer you couldn’t give those fungus away.

One thought on “Mushroom Hunters

  1. Kooky Cat Guy

    Great photos, especially all the flowers. Oh and of Rigby too! I was in Mill Creek on Saturday. It seems a bit early yet for the shrooms up there. They are going off on the river islands tho.

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