Nature is the art of God ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Jan, stop!” I yelled out to my twin sister as she pedaled ahead of me on her bike.
“What for?” she yelled back to me loudly.
“I just saw something in the woods, and I want to go back. I’m wondering what it is.”
The other day my sister and I were on the way back to my parent’s house from a bike ride. We had gone to collect some pears that we had spied the day before, from the car, on a tree in a vacant lot next door to the United Methodist Church on Taylors Island, Maryland.
“What was it you saw? An animal? ” Jan asked. The remote island of Taylors Island is well-known for it’s variety of shore birds, white-tailed and sika deer, wild turkeys and bald eagles. Dorchester County Maryland is also notable for it’s abundance of fish, crabs and oysters.http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/waters/
“I don’t know but it was a cluster of something pure white on the ground. That’s why I want to go back.”
“Ok, you lead the way.” Jan said. We turned our bikes around and headed back to the spot where I had seen the curiosity.
“It’s there. Through the woods, “ I said pointing. “ we’ll have to cross the ditch and hike in to it.”
We parked our bikes, which had baskets attached to them, laden with the wild pears. We had picked only fruit that had fallen from the tree because the pears hanging from the branches were too green and too far from ripening.
When I initially saw the objects of interest, I had gone through a list of things in my mind of what I thought they could be. “Perhaps some trash, the tails of a herd of deer , who knows what. ” I thought. As we neared the white patches I had seen through the trees on the ground in the distance, I saw that they were round and nearly a foot in diameter.
“Look at that! They are huge mushrooms.” I said, completely surprised by my findings.
“Wow! I sure wish I could show them to Rob!” Jan said. “But I don’t have my camera.” I knew Jan’s husband who has been a chef in our nation’s capital’s finest restaurants would be interested.
“Let’s pick a couple and show him,” I said. After I extracted their roots from underneath the bed of pine needles, I felt a little guilty. “Is it a crime to pick mushrooms or pears from the wild?” I asked my sister.
“Too late to think of that now,” Jan said, beginning to place the mushrooms in the bike basket.”Let’s put my jacket between the pears and the mushrooms in the bike basket in case they are poisonous.”
“Yes,” I agreed. “We shouldn’t let the pears and mushrooms touch.”
When we got back to the house we showed our unexpected treasures to our family members, and my brother-in-law looked up the mushrooms on the internet. “They’re edible!” Rob exclaimed.
“Sorry, I am not eating them.” I said, “I value my life too much. We could be wrong. Eating mushrooms from the wild is not a good idea unless you know for sure they are not poisonous.”
“I’ll stick to the pears,” Jan said. “I am not taking any chances.”
That night as I fell off to sleep I thought about our events of the day and what Tom Stoppard once said ““If you carry your childhood with you, you never grow older.” Riding bikes and exploring nature took me back to the days of my youth when my sister and I used to play in the woods and throw stones in streams and find all kinds of fulfilling things in nature to keep us busy.
Images of a few unexpected finds on our bike ride. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Wild pears. They are delicious!
That’s all for today!
This blog brought to you by the award-winning author, Sue Batton Leonard. For information on her award-winning memoir, Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please visit this site. http://amzn.to/1vDFUMt.