M. and I went yesterday to check our favorite mushroom grounds. The radar had shown thunderstorms up there earlier in the week, but whatever rain fell had soaked right in. Nothing was coming up yet, not even LBMs. The mushroom hunter’s catch-all term: “Little brown mushrooms.” Like “little gray bird” when you are looking for birds.
Stepping into a small clearing, probably part of a 1980s skid trail, I looked down and saw a knife. An eight-inch chef’s knife with a single-bevel (“chisel”) edge, to be precise — Asian-style, so probably Chinese-made. Much like this one.
I had made my offerings just minutes before at a hollow stump. This find seemed definitive. It was like something said, “Sorry, no mushrooms. Would you like a knife?”
It went into M’s pack, and since it was long and sharp we nested it between the pages of Vera Evenson’s Mushrooms of Colorado and the Southern Rocky Mountains. She was OK with taking it home, but she said later that she would rather have had mushrooms.
That is the second time I have found a knife at my feet. The first time was in Teller County, Colorado, east of Florissant, when I was in my mid-twenties. It was the last day of Februrary, consequently, the last day of small-game hunting. No dog then — just me, my old Ford F-100 truck, and Granddad’s shotgun. I didn’t see a rabbit, but walking through the woods I found an antler-handled knife.
A little time later, I found an aluminum camping cup.
I was new to the Craft then, but I could see a certain pattern here. Would there next be an aluminum camping plate with a pentagram scratched on it?
Well, no. But it was “a moment.”
As for yesterday’s knife, it might have been lost last season by one of the Vietnamese I think. Or other SE Asian.
market-hunters recreational mushroom hunters with very large appetites and pillowcases to fill I saw in that area last year.
Whatever it’s origins, I touched up the edge, and M. is slicing vegetables with it now.