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Found a pheasant back mushroom!

Since Peter showed up, Jack has been home from work the past couple of days. It’s nice to be able to sleep in (to make up for being up in the middle of the night, haha), and have some extra help with the rest of the kids, but it’s only a matter of time before Jack starts getting antsy and wanting to go in search of an adventure while he has the time for it. This time of the year is great for mushroom hunting, particularly the coveted morel mushroom. I’m not a huge fan of your average, boring portabella but morels are on a totally different plane and are absolutely mouthwatering.

Harold schooling Jack.

So, Jack spoke with our old neighbor, who gave him permission to search in his woods, and beyond. With a warm, sunny day and my visiting mother in tow, the kids took a day off of school and went with him. After I made them help me tidy the house and fold the laundry. Work then play, I say!


Zoey stayed home with me–not that she wouldn’t be capable of keeping up but because of her habit of wandering at this age. She’s not very good at saying where she is when she goes missing, either. It’s funny to her when she’s hiding, which is not funny to me when I can’t find my two-year-old. Peter hung out, adorable as ever, but before Zoey’s fingernail paint was even dry, everyone came hurrying back.

He’s soooooo cute!

On their way to the forest, they spotted an injured Cooper’s hawk. We’re not sure what happened to the poor thing but it obviously had a broken wing. Throwing a shirt over it, Jack brought it home and we put it in a box, called a local raptor recovery center, and drove it over to the vet for them. Hopefully it recovers soon because its mate has been calling for it for several days and is terribly sad to hear.

Get well soon, buddy!
With the hawk secured, everyone went back out again to see what other excitement they could find.
There were all sorts of interesting plants to examine, some of which were very fashionable… 
 …and functional.

The terrain was fairly thick and rolling, so the kids helped each other navigate the thorns, ravines, fallen logs, and mud, all while on the lookout for edible fungi.

They did manage to spot a large pheasant back mushroom growing out of a tree and brought it home.

Unfortunately, it was slightly past its prime and while the taste wasn’t bad, it was like trying to chew leather.


It wasn’t long before their little legs were tired and without the excitement of finding gobs of mushrooms, their desire for adventure fizzled out.


They didn’t come home with any edible mushrooms but Jack found some sassafrass trees, which smell like lemon and taste like root beer.


He washed off the roots, boiled them, and sweetened them and made a very delicious tea that can also be turned into root beer with some dry ice.

Sassafras tea. 

The epic mushroom hunt didn’t turn out exactly as planned but it was still an adventure all the same!

Too tired to even eat!


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True stories of raising children, remodeling, braving the elements and plotting out life, all while living on a humble acreage in central Indiana.

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