Saturday, October 22, 2022

Footstools and Mushrooms

           Having a bedroom on the first floor means that when I wake up and open the curtains, I can climb back in bed and look out at the woods as I read for a while.

         This morning was no exception, and I was peacefully scrolling through the mail on my iPad when a massive shadow passed the window, followed by a dull clacking sound. I knew that sound. Sure enough, the gang was back, led by a tom bigger than the ottoman in our den. Seeing turkeys fly is an experience, erasing your brain’s expectations of what you’re used to seeing suspended in the air.



 Twelve this time, and they were a lively group, flapping and hopping around while the big guy watched as possessively as a sultan with his harem.



         And now for something completely different. . .


          I was just reading a newspaper article this morning about a local mother and adult son who became deathly ill after eating mushrooms she'd foraged. It drew my attention since I've been investigating mushrooms for my next book, if I ever get around to finishing it. Seems they looked just like ones she knew in Malaysia; unfortunately, these were the death cap mushroom, so potent that one cap has enough poison to kill 2 adults.

Interestingly, just in case they might be poisonous, she took the precaution of cooking them with ginger. Apparently some cultures believe that ginger will turn black if it’s cooked with something poisonous. When nothing happened, she prepared a meal for herself and her son.  

Mother and son, after two days of severe diarrhea and vomiting, were admitted to the hospital. Luckily, there were both saved, but the mom ended up needing and receiving a new liver. I guess it’s time to retire that whole ginger theory. 



  1. You won't catch me ever foraging for my own mushrooms. I do not trust my own judgement!

  2. The turkeys are amazing. We rarely see them here, usually trying to get across a busy local back road and worrying the life out of drivers who suddenly come around the corner and see them. I'm guessing they're following a turkey highway that predates that road.

  3. Up here where we live and forage- mushroomers are a big deal. Our neighbor across the street has spent twenty years or longer trying to write a comprehensive book . he is the mushroom God of the area...Mushroom, all sorts, make me ill. He used to come over here to cook them as his wife was also made ill from the smell of them cooking. Nasty.
    The turkeys are smarter than we , who eat mushrooms and blackened ginger. What a tale!

  4. We have a flock in the neighborhood. I've never seen them on the wing, which I would really like to see.

  5. I would LOVE to see wild turkeys. Each year we lose a couple of people to death cap mushrooms. In one of the worst incidents a chef found, foraged and cooked them for his friends. From memory three of them died.

  6. Neighbors used to forage the mushrooms from our front yard. I would never!

  7. That's quite a large flock. I haven't seen live turkeys since I was 16-17, my mum used to raise a few each year and have them dressed and ready for Christmas orders.
    I know so little about mushrooms, I play safe and buy mine at the supermarket.

  8. I have relatives who forage for mushrooms, but they do seem to know what they are doing.


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