Chaos to Cosmos
The path from chaos to cosmos was discovered by telling one's life story

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Mushroom Hunting Expedition

Not the mushrooms I hunted.

What you should be seeing here are a few photos from the mushroom hunting (or fungi forage) expedition I went on last Saturday, 24 Sep 2011, in the New Forest. It’s was a fantastic morning out with some lovely company and a knowledgeable and entertaining guide. It was brilliant to get out into nature again – I realised just how much my soul needs to commune with its tranquillity. However, it’s taken me until now to find the energy to write these few words. Despite being chauffeured and despite finding myself places to sit down while the rest of the group went off foraging, a mere 3-hour outing caused me an 5 day total crash.
At least I slept, more like a coma really, because I couldn’t have woken up or functioned, even if my life had depended on it and, of course, I suffered all the usual post-exertional malaise feverish, flu-like symptoms, with, this time, the added bonus of reawakened allergies and a bevvy of bites.

There were plenty of opportunities to rest while folk were foraging. I’d wanted to go because I thought it sounded more interesting than merely going on a walk, but I thought about it afterwards: there is no way I could have kept up the pace or coped if it had been a walk. But silly me, I forgot how *tasty* I am to the world’s bug population. Somehow, I could remember to take precautions against the mosquitos in Tenerife, but totally forgot that actually, the last time I was bitten really badly (allergic reaction, massive swelling and in need of urgent medical attention), was some 20 or so years ago … wait for it … in the New Forest!
So, without repellent some now fat little beastie first had several nibbles on my neck, proceeded across my shoulder and then the saucy little sucker managed to bite my boobs (in several places) and work herself down my torso and legs, supping at regular intervals. Well, unless there were several of them. 

And no matter what I take or apply, I still can’t calm the incessant itching.
Ah the photos? I lost them, accidentally deleted somehow. But chiefly, they were of mushrooms! Some orange ones that looked like fallen Autumn leaves. Don’t ask me what kind. If there’s one lesson I learned it was to leave the identification to the experts. Some were very pretty, RED ones - DANGER - those are the ones you absolutely don’t want, even if they do look super-cute. And trees. Forests tend to have quite a lot of those. There was bracken beginning to turn an autumnal brown. And a nice little mushroom crop of mostly Hedgehog Mushrooms and Chanterelles that I brought home and which ended up on a risotto.