Gift #859: Surprises along the trail

We were able to do lots of mountain hiking on this trip.  It was glorious!  I think we were able to do more hiking on this trip than ever before.  It’s always like going on a treasure hunt when hiking.  There are so many wonderful things to look at!  Let’s just say I’m not a good walking buddy if you’re looking to make quick time.  Trees, leaves, flowers, birds, feathers, horizons… all these things beg to be appreciated at a leisurely pace.  Hikes will further slow to a crawl when moss, lichens, rocks, or ferns are present.  Oh, how I love them all!  However, nothing but nothing will bring a hike to a screeching halt faster than a mushroom.

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I’m like a dog on point for mushrooms.  Whenever I hike with my mom, if one of us spies one (and we’re always on lookout) the alarm cry “mushroom!!” sounds out, and we both make a beeline towards the fungus.  I’m not above crawling off the trail and even risking poison ivy to get a look at it.

One of my dearest wishes for many, many years has been to find amanita mushrooms in the wild.  I’ve found many beauties during my hikes, but never an amanita…. until this past week.

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Secluded just off the trail at one of the mountain parks was a stand of mushrooms, and upon further inspection, they turned out to be my elusive favorite mushroom!!  It took a while to convince myself it was real, but they are known to grow in this area and after all the rain that’s come through, it didn’t seem improbable.  Isn’t it absolutely lovely?

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And that’s not the only one we found!  On subsequent hikes we found others dotting the landscape!  It was better than finding rubies out in a field.

I was delighted that another one of my dreams came true in the mountains of Colorado.

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Blessings to you,

Sarah

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