A Shortcut to Mushrooms

You Tolkien people must’ve known I would eventually use this title for an entry. Turns out it’s a pretty good descriptor for the long hike we had on Tracy’s birthday, with a couple of shortcuts that turned into trouble.

Well, the good news is that we didn’t run into a Nazgul, plus we didn’t see any other human beings but one: a lone hiker dude wearing a mask who seemed more upset to run into us than we were him.

Jerry Jolly Trail System

Apparently, the secret to finding a tourist-free trail to hike is to look for one that has no scenic destination: no water falls, no gorges, no promontories. This trail system Tracy found is a cross-country ski trail that meanders through the woods, and, for the day we were on it, we saw just so, so much forest and stream and berries and mushrooms.

Banjo was full of herself for the entire hike, smelling up and down the trail and high in the air, pulling to keep in front so she could smell all the virgin forest smells.

We joked that she wasn’t under our control on the leash.

The “shortcuts” we tried to take we thought were footpaths that connect the ski trails. Tracy was the one paying attention to where we were on the map so I followed him through the briars and over fallen tree limbs hidden by overgrowth.

Turns out they were logging trails or just maintenance access, definitely nothing you should be putting your feet on, so we turned back. Lucky for us It was a chilly day so we were covered head to foot in clothes and (spoiler) we survived the non-short cuts.

Those excursions in the briars introduced Banjo to raspberries and blackberries, which she delicately picks with her little dog lips and the tip of her tongue as fast as she can. You better be quick to spot those suckers before Banjo if you want any for yourself.


I started taking pictures of the mushrooms on the final mile back, only; there were so many that I would have delayed us hours just bending down to take a quick pic of a sample of all the different ones.

And since my field guide is a pack of playing cards with a different mushroom on each card that I bought at Lake Anna last summer, I can’t rightly say what these are. The tiny ones growing in the moss are my favorites though. Fairy Joshua trees.

I’m so glad we had that day in the woods, because today has been nothing but driving errands (dumping the waste tanks in the trailer, then laundry, groceries, bike repair). It’s time to sit in the sun behind the trailer now and let the sound of the lake lull me into that stupor. Banjo and Tracy are already there.

4 thoughts to “A Shortcut to Mushrooms”

  1. ooohhhhhhh cross-country ski trails !!!
    gorgeous forest and I love your dainty fungus photos.