It’s the last Sunday in August; I can’t believe that it is almost the end of summer here in Northeastern Pennsylvania! How time flies! My wife Kathy and I along with our dog Scruffy, went on a hike at Rickett’s Glenn State Park. The weather was perfect and we really had our fill of hiking. I could not get over all of the mushrooms that were growing in clear view from the trails.
We came upon a group of children that were scattered throughout the woods and all of them were scanning the ground for something. My thought immediately rested on the possibity that they lost something but my thoughts quickly changed when one child shouted to his father to see what he found. In his hand he held a mushroom as he bounded back to where his father was standing. The father praised the boy and carefully placed the treasure in the bag he was carrying.
When my wife and I got closer we exchanged greetings and I asked where they were from. One man spoke up and said, from the Philadelphia area but he grew up in Ukraine. His brother told us that mushroom picking was a highly regarded past time in Ukraine. It was something that was passed down from generation to generation.
I asked if I could see what kind of mushrooms they found and he proudly held open the plastic shopping bag that he was carrying. The bag had about a dozen Boletus mushrooms of various sizes and colors. Out of curiosity and respect, I asked what kind of mushroom they were called. One brother answered Porcini, they are called Porcini! I responded, nice! I thanked him and we continued on.
For the remainder of the day we saw more mushrooms then I have ever seen before including some that I had never seen before. I knew that we had many more miles to go and plenty of flights of stairs to climb in order to complete our hike, so I did not spend nearly enough time mushroom hunting as I would have liked to. This was the first time that I ever saw a Coral Mushroom. I was easily drawn in by it’s delicate appearance yet, it proved to be quite sturdy. Even my wife Kathy was getting into finding different varieties of mushrooms and this stuff normally does not interest her in the least.