Same thing with soil types. Same thing with the timing of entirely different plants that might live, oh, a hundred meters away. You asked: When is it time to get in your car and drive to that spot from your happy mushroom childhood in Owen Sound? We answer: not a calendar date. It's not as though we mushroom people say to ourselves: "May 24th is International Morel Day" May 24th one year might be balmy and the next year we are still wearing Sorels. Whenis it time to look for morels? When the Lilacs are in bloom. When the manitoba maple keys that have inundated your lawn are at the 2-leaf stage. That is true. We are simply passing along true and important lessons.


 Imagine if your high school biology classes weren't about naming the parts of a thing within the boundaries of its cell wall or flesh or bark (oh gawd, those pithed frogs!) but were about naming the parts of the world around that particular thing, when it was alive? What are the main features of wild pigs? Apples! Cold water! Clay soils! What are the main features of nebullae? Elephants! Black ant hills! Salt. What if you learned from your old man that the best time to buy a new car or microwave was not Black Friday but when the moon was waning?Imagine if, when crossing the US border at Fort Erie and the customs agent asks you your name, where you are headed & the purpose of your visit? you answer by describing the purpose of cantilevers in the Peace Bridge you are driving across + the reasons given by your parents as to why they named you what you are named + the angle of the polarizing light due east along the Niagara River?

Absurd, nutty, the theatrical ravings of a hallucinating mind?Well, no. Not with mushrooms. Those are the sorts of answers to the questions you stop and ask us about mushrooms. Mushroomsareaboutother things. Otherthingsareaboutmushrooms.If we get up reallyreally close to that weirdo thought and squint even harder maybe we can glimpse and start to absorb the deep bedrock ecological insight that "mushrooms"are these other things. Mushrooms teach us what "collective" is, means, sounds like, smells like. "Where" collectivity happens.Is this what the incredible Lauren Hill is singing when she sings out with her immense pounding joyful fury: Everything is everything.

"In the next sixty years, the range of one songbird, the scarlet tanager, will likely move north almost a thousand miles, into central Canada. All on its own, the bird could make that adjustment fairly swiftly—but there is no such thing in nature as a species all on its own. The tanager thrives in mature hardwood forests, and those cannot simply pick up their roots and walk to cooler climates." Dear Jeff Rubin: sorry but you are dead wrong. You are wildly entertaining and fun to read to, but no. Canadians should not "get excited about being the next bread basket of the world" i.e. seeing climate chaos as a giant positive opportunity for riches just around the next carbon corner. You are still thinking like a banker or an armchair mushroomer: counting things in piles piled high rather than in chunks of life interwoven, underground and into the osmoticsphere in all directions. Don't count the tanagers before they are hatched: let's replant 10,0000000 square kilometers of hardwood forest first, then go counting.

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