Monday, September 10, 2007


Chicken Mushroom
Laetiporus sulphureus

Warm days and cool, moist nights are coming to the forest. The mushrooms are changing. Summer finds are disappearing--the chanterelles, oysters, and boletes. The transition brings the bear tooth mushrooms and the chicken mushrooms pictured above. We had some with our sauteed chicken. Delicious!

My wife and I were sitting on our cabin front porch reading in the company of the forest yesterday, and I realized how rare a moment it was. When I was teenager, my family went on two-week vacations to the shore. There was so much time to sit and listen to the huge voice of the ocean and get lost in the pages of the latest novel. I understand now that it was a time of opening, both to my own thoughts and those of the authors I read.

I suppose that's why I write more than any other reason. I want to do for other people what those quiet summer days did for me.


Miranda said...

Autumn has always been a time for openings and beginnings for me. I suppose that's why it is my favorite season. This autumn is particularly special for there are several beginnings in our life now. I look forward to embracing the changing colors with you.

I am certain that others will thank you for transporting their thoughts to new worlds and ideas (they already do!)

strugglingwriter said...

"I want to do for other people what those quiet summer days did for me."

That's exactly why I write. I want to take people to another place, as other authors have done for me.

SzélsőFa said...

The older I get the more I enjoy those quiet moments - be them enlightened by a great book, a great entry in someone's blog, or the mighty companion of a forest or a body of water...

we don't get many mushrooms here in the summer, for it's very dry here, but in the fall, rain is expected and with rain, mushrooms.

Is it an average act to eat wild mushrooms? There are some countries where wild mushrooms are despised, I think, feared. Even in Hungary, most people avoid them - unfortunately, b/c of ignorance.

Jaye Wells said...

Those mushrooms are crazy! And you ate them?

Anonymous said...

Miranda, I'm looking forward to an amazing autumn. :)

StrugglingWriter, it's a simple, but profound desire. I understand.

Szelsofa, collecting and eating wild mushrooms in the U.S. is not common, but not rare either. There is a lot of fear. The two most important things to learn is what grows in your part of the world and what is poisonous. Here in eastern North America, there are a fair number of edible mushroom which have no poisonous look-alikes. I focus on those. For example, the chicken mushroom is a polypore (no gills) which grows on wood and has this yellow/orange coloration. There is nothing that looks like it, poisonous or not.

Jaye, they were young and soft. Perfect!! The chicken mushroom is one of those easy mushrooms to start with. No danger. (Of course, I don't know what grows in Texas.) There is only one form of traditional capped mushrooms with gills that I will pick. I don't trust myself to identify anything else in that family.

the individual voice said...

Your cabin sounds like a wonderful place to live and to write.

Vixen said...

Nothing better than relaxing on your porch with a good book! :)

SzélsőFa said...

I've checked the 'chicken mushroom' by its Lation name, only to find that it is one of our favourite edible species.

Bernita said...

Yes. Portal places.
The voices in the wind and waves.
The need to translate - like a trust.

The Anti-Wife said...

And we appreciate you for doing this for us.

Shesawriter said...

I like to relive those days too. And I can. Every time I pick up a pen and a piece of paper, I'm there. :-)

mermaid said...

Nicely worded, Jason. Opening anything for us, be it certain moods or doors or feelings, helps us reconnect with the things we lost in our busy lives. Your description of the ocean reminded me of Esalen. I could hear it saying so much, and I'm glad it, along with the forest talks to you, and inspire you to write for us and yourself.

Victor Bravo Monchego, Jr said...

Around here (Pacific NW) we by-pass the polys. Too dull and plain, very woody. The chantrelles came a bit early if you know where to look.

Anonymous said...

Individual Voice, it's a gift to have such a retreat.

Vixen, I remember sitting on the balcony of the condo we rented reading by the sound of the ocean. Magical.

Szelsofa, intriguing! If there are no poisonous members of the polypore family in Hungary, that would probably be an easy one to indentify. A field guide taylored to your area would be wise to make sure.

Bernita, portal places...a great way to express it!

Anti-wife, thank you. :) I'm honored to have the chance.

Shesawriter, it's hard for me to recapture it, but maybe that's what motivates me.

Mermaid, I'm happy that you found Esalen to be a refreshing and inspiring place. Perhaps it will be one of those touchstone moments in your memory.

Victor, yeah, even the chicken mushroom can harden up. I found one last year that was further along and not as good. I have yet to find a hen of the woods.

QuoinMonkey said...

There is something very calming about this post. It reminds me of how slow the summers moved when I was a kid. And how people in general seemed to not be in such a rush.

Your last line, about why you kind and generous. I do think we write for others as well as for ourselves. To give something back. It's a great gift to be a writer. Thanks for reminding me.

SzélsőFa said...

Oh, we have a couple of books as field guides to mushrooms. Even our son is using one when collectiong mushrooms.
btw, I wrote a post about edible mushrooms we collect.

Anonymous said...

Quoinmonkey, yes, a precious gift. I'm one of those writers who wouldn't do it if no one ever got to read what I wrote. **Thanks for stopping over!

Szelsofa, I saw your post! I didn't know you were so knowledgeable!! We have an expert in our midst. :)

Grandmacraz said...

Here in the deset southwest, I miss the vibrant colors of the eastern fall. The mable trees trun such a vibrant red and the yellow leaves of the elm. I always wanted to wrap all those warm colors around me. Like a cloak of many colors. We have fall here, but it slips in on silent feet and is felt only by the change of temperature, and the heavier feeling of the air.

wordtryst said...

How lovely to live in a place where there are such profound seasonal changes. I've always fancied I'd like the temperate autumn and spring the best.

Thank you for this post that radiates such tranquil beauty.

Writers have affected my life so profoundly that I'd be honored to think I could do the same for others. The places! The people! The wisdom! And the fun!