Why You May See Me With A Downcast Look

by Curt Kovener

If you see me sometime and I am looking down do not think that I am sad, forlorn or depressed. In fact, it is quite the opposite.
But perhaps I need to provide some background information as to my seemingly deceptive countenance.
Earlier this month I decided to make a raised bed vegetable planting area up at the wilderness retreat. Several years ago a couple of pine trees blew over into the lake and I dragged them out, cut off the branches and placed the logs below the dam under some poplar trees until I could figure out a use for them other than very quick and very loud firewood.
Repurposing sections of those logs into a primitive frame for a raised bed garden seemed like a good use, So a measuring tape, a chain saw and the tractor with front end loader all met at the pine log holding area recently.
Figuring a 5’x12’ raised bed was a good size (because that is the size the workable diameter logs would produce) I began cutting. After my first cut, I laid down the still running saw measured 12’, made a mark and went to fetch the saw.

Next to the noisy saw I spied a mushroom. And all work immediately stopped.
I put my head low to the ground and looked left and spied more morels then turned to the right and discovered even more sticking up.
I left the saw where it was as a marker and fetched a potato bag to harvest the morels. The first eight got placed in my red poke pretty quickly. Then I began looking in all of the usually productive places along the creek and the south facing hillsides.
There is where than downcast look comes into play. As I visually scoured the likely woodland areas, I remembered what the late and all outdoor wise “Bayou” Bill Scifres often said: “You find mushrooms where you find mushrooms.”
There ain’t no special place for them to grow. Several years ago I found big yellow morels at the base of a recently deceased elm tree. I found this year’s offering under greening up poplar trees. And there have even been times I have found morels growing along my gravel lane and one next to the outhouse. And, yes, it fried up just as good as the rest of those tasty fungi.
So now after a rain shower, I put on my boots and head to the woods with my potato sack in my pocket. The raised bed planting area is complete and awaiting the proper moon signs for planting. But morel season is fleeting and there will be plenty of time for work after the last mushroom is relished.