We went morel hunting a couple of days ago and at first I was skeptical. I had heard the PitE majors talk about these mushrooms and found it a little silly at first. Spend the day looking for mushrooms that are hard to find? I don’t think so! But it was a beautiful day and I thought I’d try my luck.
We looked high and low at the first stop, but did not find much.
Tip: Go the restroom before you go. I did not!
We took a pit stop at a gas station and tried another stop on our way back to camp.
We crunched through the woods inspecting the feet of trees in hopes of finding our magical mushrooms. I pranced along down a log and almost fell off. My eyes caught the ground as I gained back my balance and I thought to myself, “how funny it would be if I find a morel when I look up.” Wishful thinking… I did not.
Despite my poor luck I yelled “Is that one?” like the boy who cried wolf and people got excited (but also expected the jokes from me) and kept looking. Once more I did this, and once more people rolled their eyes and I smiled to myself.
We split up and walked around, and then I saw Tegwyn and walked toward her. There was a pile of sticks in between us and for some reason I decided to go think back to my childhood books and “go through it”. I slipped and fell and looked up and FOUND ONE. I shrieked with joy. It was the first morel of the day and I didn’t think we’d find one at all.
We found a couple more in the area and then I called out to Ian to tell him good news. He was no where to be found, until he was. He came out of nowhere and someone asked him if he found any. Ironically, at that exact moment he immediately saw the largest one of the day. I guess we make a good pair of fun-guys.
It was a great and beautiful day in the woods enjoying nature and listening to PitE majors talk about #science. Im always very interested in the little tidbits about the world I live in because its a love for nature through a different lens than my own.
I’d like to think of of my experience with building “the house” and learning about sustainable building as my own personal morel.
I went into this project with little to no knowledge about the environment or how the things I own already have a carbon footprint. Now, thanks to my peers, I am learning about how I can personally change my behaviors to better suit the planet. One of my classmates and camp buddies Rachel informed me that the average hand held drill is used for around 20 minutes in its entire lifespan.
Its a simple fact, but one that speaks wonders about our society. From day one, we are tailored to consume. With each new iPhone replacing the next and making the former obsolete, we step farther away from the Earth and forget about our role on this earth. We aren’t taught enough about how our actions affect our planet.
Approaching sustainability with dirty hands, sore muscles, and lots of music has enabled me to appreciate the Earth and the natural building so much more. Most of us entered this project without having ever built anything before and we will all leave in a week or so with the ability to say we built an entire building from the ground up.
As we pour and smother and soak our building in nostalgic love and lots of great music, I continue to recognize the power of team work. We are all capable of re-thinking (or thinking about) what we consume and if we work as a team, individually contributing in our own individual ways, we can make real change and save the planet.
If we can all take a little time to try something new, like hunting for morels, we might find a little gem that comes straight from the Earth.
And to sum it all up, I’d like to quote a Native American proverb that moved me to goosebumps this week.
“We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”
I challenge you to think of the future, to act accordingly, and to find your own “morels”.