Photography and Mushroom Hunting Expedition

I left after my last parish duties on Sunday for Central Washington to meet with my dad for a photography and mushroom hunting expedition. The place we went to is fairly close to where my father grew up so he was telling me about all the numerous adventures he had as a child. Let's just say the vast majority of parents and children probably aren't as daring and adventuresome as my dad.

The fall colors were quite noticeable in some places on the first day. We decided that we would primarily focus on the mushroom hunting the first day and then look for photography opportunities on the second day. We had incredible success! I never knew how many different species there were of mushrooms and they were quite plentiful. We were able to harvest quite a few and it was great to hunt around because you never knew what you might find. (Kind of like the quote from Forrest Gump about how "Life is like a box of chocolates...") We cleaned our treasures off and stored them in a cooler.

The second day I was able to get a few pictures but we were also able to get into even more mushrooms. At the end of the day, my dad asked me if I wanted to take some home, but I declined just not feeling comfortable after how I learned how deadly some of them can be. I knew my dad was going to stop on the way home to a mushroom club meeting. I guess my confidence greatly declined when I found out that the last two mushrooms I collected were among the deadliest. The "Destroying Angel" (amanita ocreata) on the right of the picture below is extremely deadly. Only one mushroom will kill you and the symptoms don't really show up until the toxins are well into your body. The second one, the  Fly Amanita (amanita muscaria) is also quite poisonous. All of these mushrooms grow side by side so you really have to be an expert in identifying them to be safe.

I think I will stick with store bought mushrooms for the time being:) Some of the other edible mushrooms can cause distress in some digestive tracks and with all the problems I already have, I think I will just enthusiastically hunt and gather them for my mom and dad who can take their own risks.

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