I am not going to complain that there are no mushrooms in our woods this year, or that I have given up at least eight hours looking when I could have been separating our puny lettuces and spinach from the feisty henbit and chickweed that think the garden is theirs. I have no regrets about having to remove ticks from my jeans and mud from my boots. And the sunburn I got from looking up past the brim of my hat rather than down at the ground, well, c’est la vie. The sky was too glorious to ignore.
I don’t know whether it is too early or too late for mushrooms. I know that the May apples still have not bloomed but the dogwoods are unraveling. I know I saw a red admiral, a yellow tiger swallowtail, and an eastern tailed-blue in the flyway where I stood. And stood. And wherever I wandered in the leaf littered spots beneath the red oaks and hard maples and between the thickets of blackberries and gooseberries, I found something just as good as dinner.
A flock of wild turkeys in the hollow, complaining a little too loudly about it being turkey hunting season. An orchard oriole balancing on a slender limb like a tightrope walker wearing black and orange spandex. Sky blue phlox growing in vase-ready clumps. An Eastern box turtle painted with yellow petroglyphs. A curved piece of bone that I cannot identify, two inches long, flat on both sides, and beveled on one end.
And the sound the wind makes in the woods, where it loses its identity, becomes rain or a full creek or a train in the distance.
I am not-mushroom hunting today. But I am stilled. Still.