Friday, December 19, 2014

Mushroom for Rainy Days

Last night, John and I packed up our car and one of our furry children (the barky one) and slipped out of Los Angeles, trekking up the California coast in complete darkness. It's a drive I've done countless times, enduring the monotonous 5 Interstate through the central valley, only to pop into the San Francisco Bay Area just in time to crawl into bed at my parents' house.

After noon today, I will be officially on a two week vacation from work. Now, I sit at my parents' counter, wrapping up all my need-to-dos and distracting myself with this post. It's dreary outside, which is actually a welcome sight. Heavy rain up in the area last week left everything seeped in water, and everything is a bit more lively because of it.

My parents' backyard wasn't much more than hard soil when I visited last month, thanks to this year long drought. But all that rain transformed the dirt into an epic wild mushroom playground!

Everywhere I looked, there were clusters of mushrooms, all different variations (or the same, but different ages? I don't know, I need to learn more about mushrooms!) My uncle is a mushroom expert, and I remember being a kid and he would take me and my sister on hikes. His favorite time to go was right after it rained, because mushrooms would have cropped up everywhere, and he delighted in pointing out every single one, telling us its name, whether it was toxic or not... I wish my little brain had retained it all!

I stomped around through the dirt in the early morning, poking the mushroom heads and looking underneath them for little mice families hiding from rain. That doesn't just happen in cartoons, right?

I assume I just missed them.

Along with the large groupings, there were little new ones popping up out of the dirt. Look how cute, little baby mushrooms!

There was some active "keeping the dog away from the mushrooms" handling that was occurring during all this, but thankfully, she didn't seem interested in eating them. She was probably looking for mice families, too.

I'm so happy to be spending a few days with my family before heading off to Cleveland for 9 days to visit with John's. It will be my first Christmas holiday away from the Bay, and I anticipate a little bit of homesickness. But I'm excited to explore a new city with a Cleveland native and test my tolerance to the cold.

Have a happy Friday, everyone, and I hope that if you're traveling today, your travels are safe and your journeys are uninterrupted. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going off to search for more mushrooms.


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