August 08, 2006

Mushroom days

M. and I spent Thursday-Sunday camped on the Conejos River in far southern Colorado. Driving in the thick fir forests near Trujillo Reservoir, we saw several groups of people walking into the woods with plastic buckets.

It's mushroom time. It rained every day we were there, sometimes torrentially, like a Pacific Coast rain--no thunder, just downpour.

She picked some boletes on one walk, which went into that night's soup. Had we brought a dehydrator (memo for the future), we could have it plugged in right now at our Taos motel, surprising the maid who wonders why the room reeks of fungus.

Monday's Albuquerque Journal noted that this is the best mushroom year since 1931 in northern New Mexico. (Story behind a pay-wall, but you can wait through the ad.)

In a weird juxtaposition, the same section carried an Associated Press item about Mexican Indians dying from eating poisonous mushrooms.

Wait a minute, aren't they the experts? Maria Sabina and all that?

The story continues, "But recent genetic mutations have made some form of mushrooms consumed for years in Indian communities newly poisonous, officials say."

"Officials say" . . . what officials? The local mayor? What in fact is going on? Is this just bureaucratic bafflegab or an actual biological change?

1 comment:

Steve Bodio said...

Since they don't say what mushrooms I can't say for sure, but it sounds like crap to me. Also sounds like Amanita poisoning (somebody should tell the reporter that "venom" is not ingested) which means edible look- alikes exist. Which is why we don't do Amanitas.

Not the best mushroom year in southern NM-- virtually no king boletes-- but a good one. Lesser boletes, and, across the AZ border, oysters, cauliflowers, and lobsters. Hope to blog on it...