Saturday, 6 September 2014

Out of the hoods and into the woods

To the woods we went, too. Unlike Henry D. Thoreau though, not because we " wanted to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life and see if we could not learn what it had to tech and not, when we came to die, discover that we had not lived".

Oh, no. We, two urbanites went to the woods in order to prove ourselves (and each other) that as a pair of old scouts we still have what it takes to survive out in the wild. Armed with Gore-tex and fleece (and lipstick. Of course).

At least one of us was also harbouring hopes of actually bringing back some of the bounty the woods have to offer this time of the year: all the wild berries and mushrooms galore! So far we've simply had no time for foraging and Instagram updates have left me seething with envy: judging by the photos Finland is having the best porcini year since 2003 or something.

But as tends to be case with us (always!) - poor planning makes for poor results good adventures. There was nothing left in there. Not even WiFi!

Or well, we did find seven blueberries. Which does not a cake maketh.

Lingonberries on the other hand were coming out in full force... too bad it's the only berry I've yet to learn to appreciate.

And as for porcinis? Nope. We were too late. The only mushrooms left behind were these beauties. Can't think why though - they're so pretty, like straight out of a storybook! *

I did manage to find one porcini to pose with for that token Instagram photo. And this. We kept nodding enthusiastically: "Yep, that's definitely one of them... mushrooms. A fine specimen of... you know, toadstools. Yeah, from funghi family it is". 

Luckily we'd mastered the art of catering - what's the point of going to the woods if you're not going to have a picnic? 

The most hilarious moments were provided by Nuuksio national park's toilets, though. They've got their customer service sussed out alright -there are instructions on bio-degradable toilet in at least 20 different languages. Including Yiddish. Yeah, that's right: Yiddish! So, all of you Hassidics, travelling from 18th century Poland to explore the Finnish wilderness, you'll be looked after alright.

Empty-handed we made our way home. To be greeted by latest Facebook updates. One of my friends had "merely popped into the woods" and emerged an hour later with 50 kilos (!) of porcini. Hah, say I. I'll bake a pie out of those deliciously red mushrooms nobody else seems to appreciate and take it to work. We'll see who'll have the last laugh...!

So, should any of you readers out there have more porcini you know what to do with, look no further. We'll be happy to take them off your hands. If desired, they can also be traded in for a poorly functioning GPS, practically unused trekking boots or Oxford University Press' English-Yiddish-English dictionary. 

* Please note that this chapter (much like the rest of the blog post and well, all of this blog, really) should not be read without well-developed sense of sarcasm. This specimen is actually part of the Amanita family and as such, extremely toxic (and, subsequently the only mushroom I can identify with 100% accuracy)




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