I wake up naturally at 7-7:15 am – I’m ready to make the donuts, so to speak. Here it is, 365 days of the year.
I throw on warm clothes, cut up some carrots for eight rabbits and one guinea pig and hand them out. As soon as they hear me, they start dancing and swirling around, waiting for the start to their days. Making the rounds, I visit four rabbit stalls (two in each) and QueeQuee, who’s already squealing.
They live inside with us, four ‘stalls’ and one cage. They take up quite a bit of room in our tiny house. Rabbits can’t be left outside – we have fox and other predators and they are sensitive and easily frightened. I heard one of my rabbits scream once and I hope to NEVER hear that sound again.
I grab a coat, hat and mud boots, go outside to my hay barn, collect the morning meal for my horses, who are watching my every move. We had quite a storm recently, and attempting to keep the horses from sliding and even falling in the slick mud requires dedication, caring and plenty of physical exertion.
Dipsy waits by the front door now. Since my daughter brought a kitten in, Dipsy rarely comes in the house. She’s mad. I’ve been coaxing her in, and she’s lying on a footstool next to me. The footstool has a name – The Stump. Guess why!
I feed her on the porch, as requested. She won’t eat inside anymore. After she’s done eating, I force her inside, to keep her from stalking and killing any of the Oregon Junco who visit each morning during this time of year.
I wash some green vegetables or herbs for the rabbits. Every rabbit requires 1/2 to 1 cup of fresh greens daily. It gets expensive, and some days I gather dandelion, plantain and other edible greens. Sometimes, they eat better than we do! I may offer dried pumpkin or squash seeds that I’ve collected and dehydrated, a fresh apple twig or top off their hay boxes with fresh hay. Am I done yet?
I think so. Now, it’s time for a cup of coffee. I’m ready to do some research, write or crochet – nothing taxing.
But wait! A few days ago, I wanted to go to the beach! Point St. George, here we come! Armed with a big plastic bag, two grabbers or pickers for beach trash, we went, after getting dressed, of course!
Tide was low, and the ocean beautiful as usual. Anemone plentiful, and though we picked up a bit of trash, we didn’t get much that day. The trash bin was full, so I hung my nearly empty trash bag in front. Think anyone will take a hint?
I didn’t bring my camera.
On the way to the beach, I noticed a woman with a small canvas sack walking in the grass, in front of the conifers along the roadway. Just ahead, a blaze of color! She was gathering the fungi, the classic Amanita muscaria, or Fly Amanita!
I decided to continue on to the beach, and look at the roadside on the way back, to see if she’d harvested the fungi. She had, but there were some left, so we stopped and I pulled a few for study.
For three days, I couldn’t find my reference guide. I kept the ‘shrooms in the fridge until I did. Once identified, I put them next to the can for compost, on the floor.
Eating this fungi is not recommended, and since I don’t trip, I won’t be eating them. According to David Arora, in All That the Rain Promises and More…, Fly, Panther and other Amanita have intoxicating properties, known for centuries. This group has potentially dangerous and unpredictable side effects. They are, however, deliberately eaten by some people for the consciousness-altering effects.
As my mushrooms sat in a bag, they deteriorated quickly, and a brown puddle formed before I realized it. They’re much larger than you may think they are.
After I tossed them away, my left palm tingled for a few hours, even though I washed my hands immediately. Ingest this ‘shroom? I think not…
After tossing them, I did some research and found a website which offered about a pound of these, NOT FOR CONSUMPTION, at $255.00. I’m aware that mind-altering ‘shrooms grow readily here in the Pacific Northwest, but no amount of money will drive me to collect for sale. Further, it’s illegal in California to sell a magic mushroom.
I can’t do it. I sure could use the money! My family and animals need me, more than I need the risk. Peligro!!
I’m looking forward to taking the Mycology class in January at the local Community College this year.
- Cooking with shrooms turns family dinner into nightmare (newsfixnow.com)
- Literary Review: ‘Animals and Psychedelics’ by Giorgio Samorini (psypressuk.com)
- The Flying Panthers (lecubiste.wordpress.com)