Monday, September 19, 2011

Foraging!


“But satire, ever moral, ever new,
Delights the reader and instructs him, too.
She if good sense refine her sterling page,
Oft shakes some rooted folly of the age.”

                                Nicholas Boileau-Despreaux


My story begins when My Hero comes into the house and tells me the forest, and pastures are full of puffballs. I head back to check it out. There was a time when I would gather them, cut them up, and dip them in egg, or milk, and roll them in crackers. I would then fry them in nice homemade butter that we made when we had Mary the cow. I would also cut them up and freeze them to use for sauces in the winter, that never worked, do not do that, my freezer smelled bad and they were very mushy and unusable.


 These days I just love to photograph them. I just like the look of them, all different shapes, and sizes. They ripen very fast, and anyone who has ever tried them either loves them, or hates them. Most dislikes are because they were too ripe. I have eaten those ones, or should I say took one bite, and spit it out. They must be hard as a baseball. The unpredictable weather patterns we now have make it very hard to get good ones. If you have ever ate a bad one you will probably not want to try them again.


 After photographing them I head to the hickory tree, the nuts are very good dried but you must always beat the squirrels, chipmunks, and the wild turkeys to them first.


 I am standing under this huge, very old hickory tree when I hear smashing and banging in the bushes. I pick up a stick, and get my camera ready, strange instinct I know. Could it be deer, wild turkeys, or hopefully not the bear I have been hearing about? I stand very still. I have my bright orange jacket on so it is a little hard to hide. I wait, and I wait.
 The noise is getting louder; it is over my head; could it be the cougar I have heard about? They sit in trees don’t they? I am a little nervous now.
 I slowly looked up, maybe I should run but I looked up instead; I don’t know why.
 Then I see him, we are staring each other in the eye. He is making all these strange noises; like he was telling me to get lost, this was his tree. Those fiery little scary eyes.

Excuse the shoot and run shot.
 This very big, angry red squirrel was telling me off. He was actually daring me to pick up another nut. I drop my stick and run, I was running from a squirrel, be it a very angry squirrel, with big white teeth, but a squirrel non-the less. Silly I know but I am sure they bite, and I did not want to mess with him. He could jump on me; right?   Call me chicken if you dare.


 Well Mr squirrel the joke is on you, I already have two pockets full of nuts. “Nuts to you, see you next year.”

Later.

20 comments:

  1. Heather and Brennan were concerned seeing all the puffballs the other day and hoping that we wouldn't try making more for dinner. You may remember it wasn't a hit last time ;)

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  2. We enjoy puffballs when they are in the right stage.

    Squirrels can be very convincing.

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  3. I had no idea puffballs got so big or that you could eat them! Amazing!

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  4. Wow, those puffballs look amazing. I take it they are mushrooms of some sort.
    Had to laugh at your stand off with the squirrel, at least you had the last laugh lol.

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  5. Can't say I have ever seen these, I read about them on the net and their different varieties...amazing.
    Thanks for lovely comment on my blog :)you always leave lovely comments :) Your friend M

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  6. Wow, look at all those giant puffballs. I have never tried them before and will keep the ripeness factor in mind should I come across a nice patch. Enjoy those nuts.

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  7. laughing! i wouldn't mess with him either! and i wouldn't be eating puffballs!

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  8. Look at all of this abundance, just there for the taking! If you're not intimidated by a squirrel that is...

    My dad used to gather puffballs on our memorial day camping trips. I don't remember ever having a bad bite, do he must have known what he was doing!

    Blessings, Debbie

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  9. Wow! I've never seen such huge puffballs! They look like little loaves of rising bread. They do look like food. No hickory trees here, either. What do you do with them? Eat raw or cooked? Yeas, and watch out for those killer squirrels. But a true blogger you are. You did shoot before you ran.

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  10. Interesting. So now we know you are intimidated by squirrels and eat puffballs. Hmmmmm.... :)

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  11. This was hilarious! I've honestly never heard of anyone running away from a squirrel! I think your over-active imagination made the poor, sweet little thing seem much larger than he was...those "fiery little scary eyes" gave you away!

    I had no idea one could safely ingest puffballs. I thought they were poisonous. I don't much care to try them, though, after your description of them ;) I'd like to taste your hickory nuts...you know, the ones you pinched from that poor, defenceless little squirrel!

    Lovely post as always! Thank you!

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  12. The do get very territorial about their food source!

    I've never seen puffballs like that.

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  13. LOL - that was funny - your squirrel story. Reminded me of the time I helped the farmer keep an eye on an unwell sheep in the paddock behind us. As I was there trying to get the sheep to drink some water I suddenly noticed all these other sheep stopping, staring at me and I suddenly thought "what if they start charging at me" it really felt like they were planning and scheming while keeping an eye on me. Really freaky.

    Your post almost reminded me of this song my daughter has been listening to - http://h1.ripway.com/LeaWhite/08%20The%20vigour%20of%20youth.mp3 - her teacher wrote it (his blog is http://glossaryking.blogspot.com)

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  14. You've made my day by telling us that you've out-smarted the squirrel! :))

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  15. I didn't know you could eat puffballs...Not that I have a hankering for any. I think I'll just do what I've always done...kick them as I walk past! Would thay taste like mushrooms? Maa

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  16. I think the only time I've seen these was when they were all dried up and if you jump on them, they go off like a smoke bomb. Are these the same things?

    Can't be too careful with squirrels. Haha! :)

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  17. Maa and Nancy yes and yes. B

    I have no idea if Puffballs are the same in every country so my friends other then in Ontario I would not eat them unless you do some research.B

    Lennie dry and eat two pocket fulls are not enough so I will plant them in a fence line.I love the trees and we plant all the nuts again most of them grow. B

    By the way he was really really big and scary in my defense :) B

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  18. I love the squirrel pic....so perfectly framed by the tree it looks like you've put it in an archway....

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  19. Great story! You really made that squirrel go nuts [oooh sorry, couldn't resist!].

    We just have the poisonous puffballs over here. As kids we'd go through the bush stomping on them and they'd puff out a green powder. It was intriguing to know you can eat your variety!

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  20. THEY ARE HUGE!!!!!!

    oh my gosh i never saw such big puff balls in my life!

    guess here in America is everything bigger.. haha

    Leontien

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The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

Thank you so much for your comments, they mean more to me then I could ever express. Hug B

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