I won’t be talking about the beauty of fall and nostalgia it brings along. Better I’d nudge you to go out and enjoy it closely to nature, out of city noise and offices. But most of all I want to talk about this year fall’s surprise. It brought such abundance of mushrooms in the beautiful forests of Latvia that I could not resist, I just had to go picking mushrooms. It was unbearable to see mushrooms and mushrooms everywhere at the markets, listen to friends and strangers equally telling about their lucky hunt. I have always liked picking mushrooms, the day outdoors, lot of walking, picturesque scenes of trees starting to colour, fresh air and mushrooms themselves of course. By the way, it’s a good supply of food, and for free. However this kind of abundance I cannot remember having seen in years. Involuntary for a couple of hours I turned into an ancient woman gatherer, knowing forest like her five fingers and looking for food to offer her tribe.
This year it even didn’t take much walking. Just enter the forest, go a bit deeper into it and then look around, and moving slowly fill your basket. And voila!
For what else is mushroom picking useful? To test your orientation skills – for you no way would like to get lost in the woods. Latvian forests of course are not Amazonia, but still be careful. For recreation purpose – sure. To explore the nature – yes you have to know mushrooms and to tell edible ones from poisonous and nonedible.
Have a look in a book or two. There are lots of available. Or use internet for this purpose. www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnvXsO0QFjI
for example or http://www.diena.lv/uploads/LVM-SenotajaCelvedis.pdf
Though if you collect those only which you know, which are the common ones, like cap, chanterelle, slipperry Jack, orange cap boletes, russula, you are safe enough, and there are not many poisonous mushrooms in the forests of Latvia.
So, happy picking!