Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mushroom Conclusions

After several days of mushroom study, I have decided they are a little sketchy as far as food sources go. Several species have poisonous look
alikes. The coloring can vary just enough to throw one off a positive identification. Clues like gill structure, size and length of stalk, texture, smell and taste all play important roles in identification. My conclusion is one should take a walk with a good mushroomer, and learn by hands on rather than relying on books alone.

This is true of many areas in life. I knew a woman who waited until she retired at age 62 before attempting an Appalachian Trail through hike, a distance of 2,178 miles. A through hike is completing an entire trail in one calendar year, usually referring to a long trail, such as the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, Colorado Trail etc.

She prepared by reading books and online journals. Her longest hike was a weekend jaunt through a familiar section of woods.

This led her to believe she knew what she was facing. The struggles, doubts and pain that are all a part of a through hike on the Appalachian Trail was dismissed as unnecessary failings of those who didn't take care of themselves .

Needless to say, disappointment and disillusionment caused her to quit before she got half way.

My point here is that real life experience vastly outweighs anything we can learn from books. Books are great tools, holding knowledge we can intellectually assimulate.

Its getting out in the actual forest and trying things where the knowledge is cemented into understanding.

We seek understanding and confidence. The first step in surviving is recognizing one's mortality.

1 comment:

  1. Best advice I ever had on mushrooms was they have minimal survival advantages and the downside of them is they can kill you if you get identification wrong.