The shrooms are out! Finally, the first of the oyster mushrooms have flushed. My friend, Leni, brought over 4 pounds on Monday and we made the most delicious mushroom soup. There is one problem. We made a lot of soup, thinking to freeze it. Then I realized I can’t freeze it as it has a cream base and will separate and get yukky if I try. Now I have to eat 3 quarts of soup in the next day or so. All of my problems should be so tasty.

I went down to do some garden work in my lower beds and, while there, checked out my mushroom logs. Bruce had soaked them a few days earlier. I had mushrooms everywhere! The shiitake logs had all fruited as had the old rotted log Bruce brought home last year. It was part of large, fallen tree that had been cut up on the side of the road. The rest of the tree had been shredded but this final piece was too big for that. I made from-scratch pasta with mushroom-wine sauce for dinner. There was not a drop left.

Bruce and I, along with Ben, Maggie, Karen and Phoebe went for a hike in the forest before dinner. We came home with a bag of oyster mushrooms that we harvested along the path. It was so lovely in the deep woods, silent and cool, but I was touched by a moment of sadness. The Asian Longhorn Beetle has been found less than 100 miles from us. It is steadily making its destructive way here. There is a real possibility of our old growth maple trees disappearing in my lifetime, along with the syrup industry we rely on around here. I could not help but think of the fires raging in Russia, BC and Montana right now. This forest is a friend to me. I know it intimately as this is the place we live for many years when my boys were small. It is part of a 3000 acre estate that was left to a private conservator when the owner died.My husband managed the property as part of his job and we lived on site. We skied the trails every day in the winter and hiked often in the summer. I knew the trails as well as I knew the streets in the nearest town. To lose a forest is a tragedy. I can feel the pain of the across the country and across the world.

On a lighter note, it was pleasure to talk with Maggie about the flora on the path. I was pointing out the many wild edibles and medicinal herbs. We found a patch of wild thyme, gorgeous and fragrant, and lots of elderberry and wintergreen. She was so interested. I will be looking for second-hand books on the subject for her birthday. She and Ben have asked for some cash for his upcoming birthday. He has to return to school next week and they want to have some more cash on hand should they need to return home unexpectedly and find that the price of gas has risen precipitously. The kids don’t have a credit card and their cash is limited as finding part-time work to support them while he finishes school has been impossible this year.

I have an appointment this morning and Bruce is doing some volunteer work for the food pantry but this afternoon I want to go pick blueberries. Ben and Maggie want to come along so I think its blueberry pancakes for breakfast in the morning. Cheers!

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