Forest gold

In September and October, the woods are full of people with baskets, torches and little trowels.

Because that is when you can find forest gold.

Hiding there under moss and in the dark damp secret places of the woods, if you look very carefully, you can uncover chanterelles and other delicious mushrooms.

(However, if you ask a Swede where to find great mushrooms, they will say, “Over there!” as they point to an area of forest the size of a small country. Their mushroom spots are guarded jealously and the location handed down from generation to generation.)

I took the anklebiters, the dog and an empty basket in the hopes of picking some of our own forest gold.

Chanterelles are very small and hard to find. You have to concentrate on the tiny details of the forest floor.

Soon the woods were ringing with excited cries, “I’ve found a house of mushrooms!”

“I’ve found a palace!” “I’ve found a whole family!”

“Have you found any yet, mama?” shouted the happy children.

“Well, I’ve found the last blueberry,” I said helpfully.

Soon, the basket was full of edible gold.

Dusk crept over the silent trees with the setting sun breaking free and shining gloriously for a few minutes.

I looked up – and discovered my very own forest gold.

For more stories. please visit: My World.

(Click the photos to enlarge.)

78 responses

  1. Your photography is so incredibly sensitive. And your words as well. Like poetry in words and images. I love the way you capture moments. Like snippets of a dream…
    I recognize mushroom picking, even though I used to pick another kind with my parents.;)
    xoxo

    Like

    November 1, 2010 at 16:00

    • You had very ‘advanced’ parents! 😉

      Like

      November 1, 2010 at 17:09

  2. What a great post! It’s really great seeing the mushrooms you have there. We love mushroom season here (and everywhere else we have lived and hunted for them!). I’m posting a link here that will bring up a couple of posts we’ve done on the mushrooms we’ve seen this past year in the Sierra foothills. I think one of the reasons I find them such wonderful things is that they appear when the flowers have gone, and their colors brighten the fall and winter landscape so beautifully.

    http://newdharmabums.blogspot.com/search?q=mushrooms

    Like

    November 1, 2010 at 16:19

  3. Blu

    Lovely images, I love mushrooms but am afraid I might kill myself picking the wrong ones one day I hope to be shown the secret world of champignons!

    Like

    November 1, 2010 at 16:28

  4. How cool! I love mushrooms. I think I would be afraid of getting poisonous ones, though.

    Like

    November 1, 2010 at 16:33

  5. That sounds like a really wonderful family outing!

    Like

    November 1, 2010 at 16:33

  6. seems you found the end of the rainbow with all that gold…smiles. cool textures on the mushroom…and love the leaf pic

    Like

    November 1, 2010 at 16:34

  7. lilalia

    How enchanting! I can well imagine that each family keeps their sightings secret. Those are fairy palaces.

    Like

    November 1, 2010 at 17:18

  8. Oh I love the smiling faces behind the mushrooms!!
    And your blog looks totally different! (I bet you didn’t already know that!)

    Like

    November 1, 2010 at 17:30

    • I changed the layout last week because I wanted a change…

      Like

      November 1, 2010 at 17:35

  9. Wonderful photos and so good that you’re passing on your knowledge to your children. I’m still learning the names! Mushroom hunters have been stalking our forests for weeks now during the day. I don’t know what happens at night 😉

    Like

    November 1, 2010 at 17:44

    • I don’t know anything about mushroom picking. My kids are passing on their knowledge to me!

      Like

      November 1, 2010 at 17:46

  10. I wish I could tell the good mushrooms from the bad. My Mom can and will harvest edible fungi that she finds growing in a little patch on my lawn. I don’t dare do that myself.

    Thank you for stopping by my place the other day and leaving such a lovely note. You’re welcome to visit any time.

    Blessings,
    Carolynn

    Like

    November 1, 2010 at 18:20

  11. Your words always fit to your pictures. Stunning!

    Like

    November 1, 2010 at 18:29

  12. Amy

    Oh I love cantarelles, but wouldn’t dare pick my own, I’m too afraid I’ll pick the wrong kinda mushroom and end up sick! Even though I know we have a lot around our house and I’ve picked some I thought were right, I just have been too scared to eat them…but they are SO GOOD….what do you make with them?

    Like

    November 1, 2010 at 19:58

  13. I cannot remember the taste of chanterelle mushrooms. Are they special? What did you cook them with. The color is fascinating.

    Like

    November 1, 2010 at 21:03

    • We cooked them gently in some liquid and garlic and ate them with rice. They have a fairly strong earthy taste.

      Like

      November 1, 2010 at 21:15

  14. Beautifully written! I love it that your children seem to be as excited about finding mushrooms as you are!

    Like

    November 1, 2010 at 21:10

  15. Beautiful pictures and lovely words!
    Wish you a blessed week:-)

    Like

    November 1, 2010 at 21:25

  16. These pics are fabulous!
    I love the way you have focused on the mushrooms with the ABs in the background… LOVELY!!!!!

    Like

    November 1, 2010 at 21:39

  17. I just love your pictures.

    Like

    November 1, 2010 at 21:45

  18. The mushrooms are a wonderful gold colour, and that blueberry is the bluest blueberry I’ve ever seen. Fabulous photos, and a fairy tale of a story.
    — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

    Like

    November 1, 2010 at 22:07

  19. Love your post as always and your delightful photos! Such wonderful colors, but best of all is the joy and the fun!! Fantastic! Hope you have a wonderful week!

    Sylvia

    Like

    November 1, 2010 at 22:20

  20. Your very own pot/basket of gold. Lovely little mushrooms they are and such beautiful photography.

    Like

    November 1, 2010 at 22:49

  21. Beautiful post.

    I love finding mushrooms in the woods but have never had the nerve to pick any. I’m afraid I might poison my husband and myself. Someday I hope to find a guide who will show me all of the wonderful edible things that grow in the area where I live. 🙂

    Like

    November 1, 2010 at 22:53

  22. deb

    I don’t even know what to say… this was truly remarkable.

    Like

    November 1, 2010 at 23:05

  23. Good post!You must be an expert in the field of mushrooms. Do you actually eat them? I remember that we were looking for edible mushrooms when I was young. It stands to reason that we knew at the time what they looked like. So we ate them. Now I wouldn’t dare picking mushrooms, let alone eating them.

    Like

    November 1, 2010 at 23:35

  24. Even though growing up in shadow, there demand for life and light way too strong, to be not heard.

    Please have a wonderful Tuesday.

    Like

    November 2, 2010 at 00:17

  25. aloha,

    i love chanterelles, what a fun thing to do and explore the forests for golden treasures…oh i wish we could get those here in tropical hawaii 😦

    Like

    November 2, 2010 at 00:35

  26. Al

    Nice photos and a great post. I’d be nervous about eating mushrooms I picked, I don’t know enough about them. But this makes me want to learn!

    Like

    November 2, 2010 at 00:38

  27. such treasure!

    Aloha from Honolulu
    खुश दीपावली

    Comfort Spiral

    >

    Like

    November 2, 2010 at 00:39

  28. That last blueberry was such an amazing bright blue. I’ve never seen one like that. You truly live in an enchanted forest.

    Like

    November 2, 2010 at 00:40

  29. Clive

    Love the new layout!

    Wonderful photos and imagery – wish we had such fabulous mushrooms here to collect!

    Like

    November 2, 2010 at 00:43

  30. Your words and photographs are beautiful. Great post!

    Like

    November 2, 2010 at 01:06

  31. Beautiful shots, I liked the selective focus you have done in these shots.

    Like

    November 2, 2010 at 01:23

  32. Some glorious gold!

    Like

    November 2, 2010 at 01:46

  33. They are fantastic mushrooms.
    But we dont get to use them very often where i work. lol
    Now these photos are really good.
    they dont look like they’ve been artificially blurred.
    They look like the real thing.
    i’m gonna guess they are
    Which isn’t easy to capture so cleverly.

    Like

    November 2, 2010 at 02:12

    • Many thanks. I wasn’t trying to blur them, but it was windy, the kids were moving and they turned out like that. I thought they looked artistic – even if it was accidental!

      Like

      November 2, 2010 at 06:42

  34. Oh, what a lucky family to gather such gold from the forest floors. I fondly remember finding the chanties in the Pacific Northwest. This year I settled with Shaggy Manes at the canyon. Great captures and story.

    Like

    November 2, 2010 at 02:17

  35. A day of treasures to treasure, Fi. The photos are just wonderful.

    Like

    November 2, 2010 at 02:19

  36. These photo’s are just so fabulous…what a fun time you had…and such beauty…thank you for sharing it. XX

    Like

    November 2, 2010 at 03:26

  37. i love your photos–so beautifully done! and i love mushrooms, so i would gladly explore this forest for some.:p

    Like

    November 2, 2010 at 05:57

  38. Your photos seem alive and are very poetic!

    Like

    November 2, 2010 at 08:03

  39. Mushroom, aren’t they just great! And your world is simply delightful. The enthusiasm of the children you captured so well, the beauty in details. And if comes from within; Emerson was so right.

    Like

    November 2, 2010 at 08:57

  40. Terrific captures of the autumn colours!

    Like

    November 2, 2010 at 09:36

  41. wow! brilliant images and superb commentary!

    Like

    November 2, 2010 at 09:45

  42. lol, yes, we guard it. 🙂

    What you have here is autumn chantarelles. They are usually small. The yellow ones can grow very large if left alone.

    You know the dish “pyttipanna”? The chantarelles, you shot, is very good in that one. 🙂

    Like

    November 2, 2010 at 11:29

  43. What a fun outing, exploring the forest for mushrooms. Your photos are beautiful!

    Like

    November 2, 2010 at 12:25

  44. Ja här är gott om detta skogens guld. Fina bilder allihop.

    Like

    November 2, 2010 at 12:46

  45. I so enjoyed this post. Gorgeous photos.

    Thanks for the visit.

    Happy day!

    Like

    November 2, 2010 at 14:26

  46. Those chanterelles are beautiful. I’m envious of your woodsey cache! And the blueberry and golden leaf were icing on the cake, so to speak.

    Swedish mushroom hunters must be a lot like fishermen in Minnesota…if they have a special place on a lake where they catch a lot of fish, they will guard that secret location with their lives!

    Like

    November 2, 2010 at 14:33

  47. kkkkkk

    oh yes…OVER THERE….LADY FIONA

    Like

    November 2, 2010 at 18:05

  48. nice found and photos
    thank you very much fot your kind comments

    Like

    November 2, 2010 at 21:23

  49. Love the pictures! So many kinds of forest gold!

    Mushroom picking is a big deal in Oregon too — and the pickers’ “helpful” directions as well.

    Like

    November 3, 2010 at 00:00

  50. I just photograph the Mushrooms here, it is safer that way. Wonderful photographs..I bet that blueberry was tasty! 🙂

    Like

    November 3, 2010 at 01:59

  51. nice emphasis of those little stuff..

    thanks for visiting my site.

    Like

    November 3, 2010 at 03:50

  52. so many treasures! I love edible wild foods!

    Like

    November 3, 2010 at 04:58

  53. Beautiful images.
    Wonderful experience of treasure hunting.

    Like

    November 3, 2010 at 05:49

  54. absolutely gorgeous captures!! You have a very keen eye to find hidden treasures!!!

    Like

    November 3, 2010 at 07:43

  55. Ooh, I’d be afraid to accidentally eat a poisonous mushroom. But these look delicious. Lovely photos.

    Like

    November 3, 2010 at 09:34

  56. Fi, I love your new blogsite setup including the colours. Those mushrooms look great. Look like toadstools to me, but you would know better? Do they taste nice? – Dave

    Like

    November 3, 2010 at 09:40

  57. Such a beautiful post with wonderful photos!!
    Congrats on your POTW award
    Hugs
    SueAnn

    Like

    November 3, 2010 at 12:17

  58. Beautiful ~ the images AND the words!

    Like

    November 3, 2010 at 12:40

  59. Love that single, lone blueberry.

    Congrats on POTW, you so deserve it.

    Like

    November 3, 2010 at 14:01

  60. Treasures of nature.

    Congratulations on well deserved POTW mention.

    Like

    November 3, 2010 at 14:21

  61. Ohh, yum!

    Like

    November 3, 2010 at 14:48

  62. Happy Wednesday!

    Like

    November 3, 2010 at 20:33

  63. What an enchanting tale ya weave while ya guide us along on your golden hunt!!! This was just a marvelous post sweetie!!!

    God bless ya and have an awesome day!!!

    Like

    November 4, 2010 at 00:47

  64. What a fun post.
    And, I love the new look around here. Love the colors.

    Like

    November 4, 2010 at 00:50

  65. Thanks for sharing your treasures with us. These are beautiful shots.

    Like

    November 4, 2010 at 04:00

  66. Had to come back to say congratulations on POTW mention…very deerving!

    Like

    November 4, 2010 at 06:07

  67. I, too, came back to tell you congratulations on the POTW mention. An excellent choice by Hilary!

    Like

    November 4, 2010 at 13:10

  68. Congratulations on your POTW from Hilary! 🙂

    I very much enjoyed your view of gold in the woods!

    Like

    November 4, 2010 at 14:34

  69. Ooh, those look good. Belated congratulations on your potw. Am just now catching up.

    I am reminded of a story I heard about a California family who went mushroom picking. Apparently they were, shall we say, less than careful, and following a delightful pasta dinner, all needed partial liver transplants. That must make for some great family memories:

    Hey Mom, remember the time you took us mushroom picking…

    Like

    November 5, 2010 at 15:08

  70. land of shimp

    Very nice, but did you find any leprechauns?

    I do love how people with photography skills make the world appear magical at every turn. Not everyone can do that (says a person who decidedly cannot do that, I lack the eye) but if there are leprechauns, they must come out for folks like you, with the magic eye.

    Thanks for sharing the results 🙂

    Like

    November 5, 2010 at 19:03

  71. You do find the most amazing things on your little forest trips!

    Like

    November 6, 2010 at 01:05

  72. Beautiful and what a lovely thing to do.

    Like

    November 6, 2010 at 08:10

  73. Lovely pictures as usual! I am too ignorant about mushrooms to try and find them to eat, but our piece of forest has other delights as well. Went tromping around yesterday to collect mosses for my “wood scapes.” I love all the different kinds of mosses. Never knew how many there were until I started paying attention!

    Like

    November 6, 2010 at 15:03

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