Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009

Go West Young Matt

There comes a time in many a Shenandoah Mountain Guides life where the we feel the the call of the west. Our beloved Shenandoahs begin to feel a tad small and a foray into the unknown beckons. Inevitably we must answer this call, to find, that on returning the fondness for home has grown stronger. Mountain guide Matt (pictured above yesterday, 5-17-09, atop Seneca Rocks) must now answer his call as he heads to Wyoming's Tetons for the summer. Be safe Matt, you will be missed.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Pinxter lined

Under a cloak of fog or in a light rain the trail is slick and you find yourself head down, focused on the footwork ahead. Then you are overcome by it. Like walking into your favorite bakery early in the morning, the smell envelopes you. Taking a deep breath and filling your lungs with the pleasing fragrance you coast to a stop. There you are, deep in the woods surrounded by a shrub tunnel of Pinxter Flower as the trail winds through. The bright and delicate pinks pop all around. You take a moment to capture the feeling and fragrance. For a time you pause to wonder why one of these Pink Azalea shrubs gets to wear so many corsages. Leaving the flower the smell lingers with you and the moment is saved for sometime later.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Spring is in the air and with much rain comes much mushrooms, mountain climbs and memories. This spring we've seen everything from Lady slipper Orchids to the elusive medicinal Birch Chaga hiding in the neon greens of the new forest, and as always the more you're out, the more you see.

Friday, May 08, 2009

On a Boat

Three days on a boat rain or shine, always a good time. Late night paddles in the fog by the full moon leave you with life time memories. Dodging storms and exploring shorelines is always a learning experience.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Wet Wonders

Witchhazel's spring yellow pops against the grey fog and boulders of upper Old Rag.

Showy Orchis blooms are just one of the many spring flowers loving these rains.

Just the basal leaves of a Wood Sorrel are picture worthy.

Many kinds of fungus are soaking up the rain along with the flowers. These ones have a fleshy skin that seems to hold a jello jigglier trapped inside.

I had the opportunity to go Morel hunting with dad and grandpa. Above, dad jukes his way across another high water stream crossing before the search can continue.

Now it's your turn to go on a hunt, we will start with a warm up then move on to the real thing.
Pictured below is a Scarlet Tanager, see how quick you can find the bright bird.

Too easy right.

Now on to the real thing.
Morel hunt.
The little picture is what you are looking for, time yourself and see how your hunt skills compare.

Find those culinary delights, 3, 2, 1, GO!

How did you do?
>10 seconds = Ouch, If it was a snake you'd be dead. There is a bright side though, no one will mind if you know about their secret Morel hunting spots. Although you won't be coming home with much you will be privy to the best patches around.

5 - 9 seconds = You might still come home with more ticks than tasty treats, but keep practicing, your on the trail.

2 - 4 seconds = Alright, alright, if you fry em up with a lot of butter you could break even on the calories expenditure v reward scale. Nice Job.

1 second or less = It's a Mericle! You should be hunting with the Big Fish himself, giving spare mushrooms to the needy and frying those things with breakfast, lunch, dinner, corn dogs, oreos and whatever else. Give us a call when you need a job!
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