A hunting we will go

I like mushroom picking. It is relaxing to be wandering around in the sun dappled and quiet forest. And to top it all off, I get to bring home the fruits, in this case mushrooms, of my labors. I have learned to identify several different types of mushrooms these days:
-Kantarelli/Chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius),
-Suppilovahvero/trumpet-shaped chanterelle (Craterellus tubaeformis) – lit. funnel vahvero,
-Mustatorvisieni (Craterellus cornucopioides) – lit. black horn/trumpet, black chanterelle
-Herkkutatti/Porcine (Boletus edulis) – lit. goodie/delicacy/gourmet boletus,
-and several poisonous ones that we don’t touch!

Today, I took a co-worker out in the nearby woods to show her the suppilovahvero (the Finnish name is easier to remember than the English one for me). These mushrooms don’t come out until last summer/early fall. They like the cold and can even be found after the first freezes (today was a good example) and even after snowfall (I’ve been out picking in years past when it was snowing the first snow).

She was so excited to learn how to recognize them and pick them as she says they are expensive in the stores. I wouldn’t know how much they cost, as I have never bought any. We were out in the forest for just over an hour and got roughly 3 liters total. That’s a pretty good haul for the small forest we were in, that I know others go and pick there also. I gave my co-worker all of the mushrooms I picked, as they aren’t our favorite mushrooms to eat, although they aren’t bad.  It was fun and I am glad to share my knowledge.

*****

Earlier this this year when the mushroom season was in full swing, Mr Siili and I took Paxlet mushroom picking. It first started out as just some walks through the forest and that we happened to stumble upon some herkkutatti. Paxlet enjoyed us picking the mushrooms so much that he kept asking to go pick more. It was fine with us, because we loved getting these yummy mushrooms as much as we loved spending time together outdoors. As for eating the mushrooms, Paxlet will eat them sometimes.

Paxlet truly loved his mushroom experiences so much, that whenever they go into the woods at daycare, he get’s the other daycare kids to look for mushrooms with him. We have taught him well and he doesn’t touch anything he doesn’t know, which is all mushrooms. Well, that’s not wholly true because he does know the red Amanita (Amanita muscaria) with white spots as being poisonous, because he has a Moomin book where Nipsu picked one. Mostly, he just loves to spot mushrooms. Any mushrooms at all. And boy oh, boy! You had better not step on them!!

He talks about chanterelle and herkkutatti often now and asks me to find their pictures in our mushroom book. This is something I am happy to pass on to my boy. I hope he continues with this enthusiasm over the years.

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