Saturday, September 30, 2006

Mushroom Season: Wild in Wellfleet!

When most people think Wellfleet, spectacular seascapes come to mind. In fall, however, our little town has other worthwhile vistas to discover, the National Seashore Park, for instance. This week Sven and I took a walk through the woods to Dyer Pond and beyond. Everywhere wild asters were in bloom. Here is a peek at Turtle Pond, tucked away behind Great Pond, alive with birds and…. mushrooms.

Mushroom season is here! Everywhere you turn in the forest, chanterelles and bolets peek out from the underbrush. I am not a mushroom expert, but my Russian cousin Alexandra Kalinine is. Every fall, she goes wild in Wellfleet. Alexandra learned mushrooms from her father in France. My father never taught me, unfortunately. Still, on walks to Dyer Pond, I am always reminded of the enthusiasm of my French friends, all mushroom fans, who would concoct a whole meal from a day’s mushroom harvest.

I have heard say that Russians still come down from Boston to pick the mushrooms that grow wild in the woods of Wellfleet. The more enterprising among them sell their harvest at open air markets. Today our Russian guest Natalia, here for respite from New Orleans, was delighted by the variety of mushrooms she found on a walk back from Cahoon Hollow Beach with her husband …