Last Wednesday, Ranger and I went in search of shaggy mane mushrooms for Doug the Maple Syrup Guy. Doug calls them “Fall Morels”. A week ago, we brought him a coupla big ol’ giant puffballs Ranger spotted in the bush on a trail through another one of his relative’s properties (that relative doesn’t make the World’s best maple syrup so …). He (Ranger) managed to score us a coupla bottles of maple syrup for our trouble even after I nailed a big shopping bag of fresh garden kale. Ranger don’t care for cruciferous vegetables, so he asked for the syrup, and I just happened to be standing there – Bonus ! Thanks Ranger.
Anyway, so Ranger and I were searching for old graveyards ‘cause shaggy mane mushrooms like “disturbed” areas like old lawns, and abandoned roadsides. The best patch we ever found was on an unused but mown, part of an old graveyard. Don’t be grossed-out. The most recent gravestone was from the 1800’s, and the mushrooms were way over to the West of the graves anyway. Well, we spotted a mess of them at one graveyard, so we told Doug about them and continued our searching.
Since the day wasn’t conducive to walking, I figured I’d take the opportunity to address Ranger’s interests for a change. You see, Ranger always jumps on the bandwagon when I get all excited about some silly damned thing. He steps right up to the plate and takes his turn at bat, and I gotta appreciate that. Be it, plants, fungi, berries, animals, insects, doesn’t matter. Ranger always indulges my insatiable “need to know”. So at this drab time of year, the opportunity to return the favour presented itself. As you know, Ranger is an Historian, and Historians are fascinated by graveyards. They’re like a portal to the past for him. I just bumble around, marvelling at the dates on some of the stones while Ranger quietly pieces together centuries of history in a matter of moments. Names on stones correspond to roads, communities, ghost towns. Celebrities of faded fame, tales of bravery and sacrifice, of cowardice and shame, all their stories and their history, faithfully recorded inside his head. We need to pay more attention to the Historians. As I used to say “If you don’t know where you’ve been, how can you know where you’re going ?”
Having said all that … I did find something which amused me greatly. Being a (hopefully likeable) idiot is my goal in Life. I pulled into the parking lot of a church somewhere on our search, climbed out and stopped quite suddenly. The sight greeting me could only be captioned “Yer on yer own in there Ranger”.
Ummmm Yeah, OK. Thanks for the not-creepy-at-all signage.