One Saturday morning last May the Husband abruptly cut the engine on the riding lawn mower and declared he caught the scent of morel when the wind blew in from the south.
So, I thought, this is what the early onset of dementia looks like.
Morel People are a skittish, secretive breed. A foray onto a stranger’s morel bed is akin to interloping on a gold claim in central Alaska – you’re liable to find yourself on the receiving end of countrified justice. Predicting where morels will appear and in what quantity is a scientific process that combines voodoo with a gut feeling, the scent of the wind from the south and a consultation with a local old-timer for a tea leaf reading.
|This morel may or may not have been
found in, near or around Upstate, NY
Once one has caught the fever there’s nothing to do but traipse after him through wood and field to make sure he doesn’t fall and twist his ankle. Bemused, I watched the Husband sniff the air with the precision of an old truffle dog; a quarter mile later he had his morel.
Straightaway I was directed to disable the location tracker on my digital camera and cell phone if I wished to continue schlepping in the vicinity.
Reports of morels are already pouring in due to the early onset of spring. More than once I’ve seen the Husband stare off to the south with a possessed look in his eye and felt the fever of the hunt roll off him in waves. It can mean only one thing: he’s on the scent.
To my mycophagist friends: I’m willing to rent him out for a few [hundred] dollars an hour if you’re interested.