With a late afternoon coffee in hand I’m staring out the window assessing the view. Unfortunately, it is not altogether pleasing. In fact, it is borderline abysmal. I’ve never had such a terrible looking yard. At present, It’s basically a mud pit… well, a mud pit with weeds. It’s been wrecked by many weeks of rain and although we’ve enjoyed a full eight days of warm, sunny weather we still haven’t dried out. We’ve had our front lawn sodded twice in the year we have lived here and both times the grass has perished. I think of Hurricane Michael and its aftermath on Florida’s panhandle and realize that our struggles to address all the drainage issues are mighty inconsequential of what’s happening there.
Still, early this morning, in jest, I tell my neighbor, Sayed, who lives at the top of our pipe-stem on the main street, that I’m considering getting pigs. His look is quizzical, of course.
I explain: “My yard is nothing but mud now. What fragile grass I had has been drowned out…and yet those blasted weeds have flourished. So now, I’ve got nothing but mud and you know how pigs like to roll around in mud.”
“Ah!” he says with a chuckle. He gets it.
His yard has plenty of grass and while he does not have drainage issues he notes something has changed in his yard. Hmm. He is pondering. Yes, he has weeds…but…he can’t quite nail it. I don’t judge; he is a busy father and husband.
However, it dawns on me this morning what it is.
Over the course of more than several morning walks with The Poodle I note a strange phenomena….something I haven’t seen in all the years I have lived in Northern Virginia…
Multitudes of mushrooms. Large and small, weird and wild….colorful and mud-colored drab….we seem to have it all.
A Snake – like mushroom brightens up a flower bed…
While a psychedelic mushroom, a tiny little thing, stands proud in a field of muck….
And, barely off the beaten path from our walking path, a veritable mushroom city. I’m in awe because it wasn’t there just a few days ago.
Then there is the grotesque, fuzzy variety growing in the middle of the sidewalk that at first glance I mistook for vomit….
…Not to mention one that looks like a UFO from a galaxy far, far away….
As these surely inedible and likely poisonous ‘shrooms take over the neighborhood I can only think of those varieties that make my mouth water in lovely anticipation of the deliciousness they assure. I’ve got risotto ai funghi (risotto with porcini mushrooms) on my brain….along with stuffed Portobello mushrooms oozing with mozzarella and freshly grated Parmesan cheese or …how about button mushrooms sauteed in Plugra butter, wine, with plenty of chopped garlic and fresh parsley.
Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is.
There is only one thing to do now, as if you didn’t know kind reader….
It’s off to the store for the edible variety of mushrooms…and wine of course.
A mouthful of bliss is surely on the menu tonight.