Anyone who has read my blog over the past few months knows I have been combating a woodchuck, family of rabbits, squirrels and deer. These are woodland creatures I can see, identify and try to instill the fear of God into. I'd like to say I intimidate them, but I don't. Well, the woodchuck I do, but the squirrels and deer mock me and the rabbits snarl at me after a long staring contest.
In keeping with the theme of organic gardening, I try to weed my garden. Not often, but I'll go out and weed when there are enough weeds to feel as though I accomplished something. Although I can identify weeds from plants, I can't identify poison ivy. My husband pointed it out that I was ripping out patches of poison ivy and was surprised I didn't know what it looked like. I have to admit, I didn't and still don't. I have a vision of it in my mind and apparently I'm totally off the mark.
So....after washing my hands with hot water and soap, I managed to get a case of PI on my left hand and left side of my face (I wonder if I get points for proving a scientific theory that people scratch the left side of their face with their left hand and right side with right hand -- okay, I'll stop digressing). I was telling a friend this story and mentioned I also have mushrooms in my garden and if I couldn't identify PI, how in the world would I distinguish an edible mushroom.
Personally, I think you have to have a special degree to identify edible mushrooms because for every edible mushroom there are apparently 2 twins. One looks like the edible one, but not tasty and the other is poisonous. He agreed. He also told me that you don't need a special degree, you just need to be an old world European person to distinguish an edible mushroom. I agreed 100% because the only person I heard of mushroom picking was my husband's grandmother and she was from Czechoslovakia.
I have to admit, although my friend's observation was brilliant, I wanted to know how he came up with it. He started with "Remember the summer I was at the gay nudist camp"... "well, there was an old world European there giving mushroom scouting lessons." The story from that point on was just lost on me. I began to have visions of naked men protecting their peckers from twig snap-backs or PI all wearing Robin Hood hats and dancing around the forest.
Needless to say, my friend did not partake on the mushroom expedition so I couldn't ask if he had any helpful tips (on distinguishing edible from non-edible mushrooms - get your mind out of the gutter). However, I have to confess, after creating a vision of a naked Robin Hood and his merry men, I don't think I would have absorbed too much knowledge about mushrooms.
What I do is this: I still can't identify poison ivy or edible mushrooms and doubt I ever will.