Thursday, May 2, 2013

mushrooms and other surprises

Last saturday the kids and I went with my friend Liz to Rocky Hall. The purpose of the trip was to try to find some pine mushrooms - our very first mushroom foraging adventure! I was pumped. Liz knew a place in Rocky Hall, about an hour south-west of Bega, that was, last Autumn and the Autumn before, covered in mushrooms. She didn't need to persuade me to make the trip out there, either. Rocky Hall is one of my favouritest places around these parts. Not that there's a lot there... maybe that's what I like about it. It's kind of wild... and ancient... and it has a certain feeling about it that I can't at all describe, but that resonates with me somehow. I suppose if I was a bit more woo woo, I'd say I'd "been there before", though I'm not 100% convinced that is the reason. Let's just say I dig it, for no real tangible reason, and leave it at that, shall we?
Aha! A pine mushroom... Apparently the only pine mushroom in the whole of Rocky Hall
On the mushroom front, however, Rocky Hall failed to deliver this particular Saturday. OK... we found one pine mushroom not far from Liz's old house, and we found this cool fungus as well, and there was an offer of a magic mushroom, but the heaving fry-pans full of butter and garlic and sizzling pine mushrooms failed to happen. Most likely, it's because it's not been such a wet season. Other foragers, like the writer of my favourite favourite blog, The Forager's Year, are reporting similar disappointments.
Cool fungus, happily photographed by Olive. If only it were edible...
Not to worry. The trip was fairly awash with consolation prizes, such as a dip in the creek, and big big pine trees to climb, and fairy gardens to discover and lunch at Liz's friend Susie's super-cute little cottage, which is nestled into the side of a little gully, looking for all the world like it's been there for ever. The house itself is not at all dissimilar in size, shape or stature to our own little Buckajo Bothy. When we arrived, I felt like I was seeing the property that's been in my mind's eye since I was about 15 - the kind of place I always thought I'd build - complete with covered gardens and massive fruit trees and eucalypts and slow-burning stove and lots and lots of bush and a gorgeous, rocky, rambling creek. The eery familiarity of the place prompted me to think about our own piece of land, which is so much more open than Susie's gully, and the differences in the houses (hers is red cedar clad, not strawbale), and the beauty of an established garden and a house that's been lived and created in for years and years. The whole time we were there (and for a few days afterwards) I reflected on the differences and similarities, and the ways in which dreams become reality. We are now, quite literally, building our dreams. We're working towards a vision that seems so real and solid to me... But seeing Susie's house made me realise how dreams can also change and evolve, depending on what the world throws at you, which I guess is what makes things exciting. It was a funny, unexpected kind of realisation to have on our failed mushrooming adventure, but I was grateful for it. 
A dip in this creek was a pretty good consolation prize
On the way home we stopped off to take a picture of Rocky Hall Cemetery, which I had fallen in love with, at first sight, about a year ago when I first saw it. Some people think it's weird for me to be thinking about such things, but I knew when I first laid eyes on it that this is where I want to be buried. It's peaceful, and kind of wild. It has a little gazebo and an old 44 gallon drum as a garbage bin. It has a looming rocky, scrubby hill, and there are only about 20 people buried there.
Rocky Hall Cemetery - my final resting place.
Hopefully next time we head down that way, the mushrooming will be more productive. But even if it's not, I know there will be a multitude of other adventures and surprises that will be pretty awesome consolations.

1 comment:

  1. If they're what I think, you might want to go back & check those mushrooms out at night - definitely not edible, but they look like the luminous 'Ghost Mushroom'.. take a look at this blog;