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Day 138: Forest Bathing

Happy Saturday!

Bob and I are into our fourth month of social distancing. During the week he holes up in his office while I play the entitled retired housewife. I don’t identify as an extrovert, but social isolation is wearing me down. Most days I keep myself too busy to notice, but on some days I wonder what’s the point and have a hard time making myself move around.

 

So, it’s a treat when Bob joins me in my little play world on the weekends. On Saturday mornings Bob goes to town to pick up our Red Roots Farm CSA share at Chatham Mills Farmer’s Market while I dust and vacuum. We had gotten a Friday evening thundershower and thought we’d go shopping for mushrooms after he got home. (Thank you, Tami and Lyle, for access to your woodland acres and trails.)

When we got to the second little stream, Bob paused.

“The birds have a lot to say,”

“That’s because it’s early.”

A little further on we spotted some red chanterelles (Cantharellus cinnabarinus) on the trail. While I was busy picking the tiny mushrooms Bob followed their trail into the undergrowth and was surprised to discover that they fizzled out about 150 feet from the trail even though the habitat was the same. We concluded that they must like being trampled.

We moved on to the next patch, me swinging my spider stick and occasionally backing out of a web I’d caught with my head, both of us sweating and swatting mosquitoes. We’d been smart to go before breakfast. Bob’s shirt was soaked, but we were forest bathing and bonding which doesn’t happen every day so I was happy.

Back home we peeled off our wet clothes. We ate breakfast. I cleaned up the mushrooms while listening to Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me. It took me more than an hour using a soft brush. I put them on the scale and saw that we’d picked 250 grams, a little over half a pound. They’ll go well with that “chicken” vegetable soup I’m making for dinner. Fried on the side in salted margarine. Yum!

This is how to kill a hot summer day in good company, I thought. Every day should be like this. Every day will be like this after Bob retires.

 

By Camille Armantrout

Camille lives with her soul mate Bob in the back woods of central North Carolina where she hikes, gardens, cooks, and writes.

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