Mushroom hunting is not for the sqeamish . It helps , of course , if you have a Polish soul .
I don’t have a Polish soul , but I did go hunting again a few days ago with Ada and the mushroom-whisperer Waldek . The three of us hunted for chanterelles a couple of months ago and found plenty of those . Waldek knows the good places .
I went mushroom hunting in Poland for the first and only previous time several years ago . The others in the group were filling plastic buckets and bags with their finds as they cris-crossed the woods , shouting to one another every so often . I was looking , not sure what I was looking for . I found one specimen , though , eventually .
At the end of the day I had my one and they had tons of them , different varieties . They oohed and awed one another’s mushrooms . Ah , that’s a great one ! Ooh , look at that one ! I got some generous praise for finding my one little one ; and then I was told that , well , it was inedible . Sorry about that . Better luck next time .
This summer was the next mushroom hunting adventure for me . A couple of months ago Ada and I went out to the forest with Waldek . Waldek knows just where to go . We were hunting chanterelles , since it was too early for other kinds . We found some , too , lots of them . Waldek has secret places to go . I suspect that he considered blindfolding Ada and I for the journey out there , but then decided that over in America we wouldn’t be much of a threat to the secrecy of the operation . In the forest , however , he walked us around in circles , I think , and he moved quickly here , and there , so that after a few minutes we had no idea of directions or where in the heck we were . He could have , at any point , abandoned us out there in the trees , and we’d still be wandering around those Polish woods , Ada and I , hopelessly lost .
Last week the three of us went out again . We checked four or five secret spots with fabulous success. Ada and Waldek filled up their large baskets in no time . I filled up two plastic sacks . I hadn’t , to be honest , expected to find many mushrooms . We found a few more plastic sacks in Waldek’s car and we filled those up , too , lickety-split .
Ada decided to use her coat as a sack , after all of the other containers were full . We were finding mushrooms everywhere . Waldek was ready to go on . One more spot to check ! But Ada and I were done . Now we had our hands full , too . No more space for any more mushrooms . ” Just keep the small ones now “, she told me . Had we had more sacks or baskets we’d have gone on . We might still be out there wandering around : ” Found one ! This is a good one ! “