What a treat - on Saturday when Barb Spector, Trixie and I pulled into the lot at Pakim Pond for a hike around the pond and a couple miles on the Cranberry Trail, we found the picnic pavilion hosting the New Jersey Mycologist Association. www.njmyco.org
They had their finds all laid out on the picnic tables so I was able to have a look and a chat.
I had noticed the wide variety and the bounty of mushrooms in the woods lately. I promise you I wouldn't eat one unless told it was safe or unless starving. First off, I hate to say this in front of the mushroom collectors, but, although I like to look at them - even marvel at their colors, shapes and the little villages they create, not to mention the 'fairy circles' I am not a fan of the mushroom as a food item. Dr. Fuhrman of channel 12 fame (He's a health and nutrition missionary) says the you should eat what he calls G BOMBS - Greens, beans, onions, mushroom, berries and seeds. I do and I even add mushrooms when I get a salad for lunch at SaladWorks in Collingswood, but they aren't my favorites and they do go bad so swiftly.
Anyhow, we hiked and the weather and the woods were splendid! Also, I forgot to mention, when we arrived, we ate our picnic lunch and dessert, which was a pumpkin pie purchased at the Red Top Market. The last one left in the case, and the best one I have tasted this season.
After our hike, we rested on the 20 minute drive to Whitesbog, where we found the store open and one of the tour guides had just completed a tour. If you've never toured this old farm village, located on Whites Bog Rd, Browns Mills, NJ, I strongly recommend you take a ride out and register in advance for a tour. It is the home of the cultivated NJ Blueberry, an effort of Elizabeth White. The bogs are empty now, the harvest is over, but its such a beautiful place to walk (with the exception of one interruption from a gang of loud and destructive ATV's throwing sand into the air in great clouds and tearing up the roads between the bogs. I wish they would keep to motor sports parks and leave the woods and other places of peace for hikers. www.whitesbog.org
But you can't let things like that spoil an otherwise perfect day and after they rumbled through, they were gone and we had the peace and beauty of the bogs again!
A GREAT WAY TO SPEND A DAY!!! So easy, Pick up a picnic at the Wawa on Rt. 70,
turn right on 72 to the entrance to Brendan Byrne Forest, on the left, just oppposite the Lebanon buildings on the right, and follow the signs for Pakim Pond. Of course, I'll include web sites for more information. Hope you are inspired to get on out there while the leaves are in full color! http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/byrne.html
Happy Trails, Jo Ann