Michael Perry: The search for mushrooms produces award winners and silent assassins | Current columns by Michael Perry

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  Michael Perry: The search for mushrooms produces award winners and silent assassins |  Current columns by Michael Perry



Author Michael Perry finds his art by living and working in rural Wisconsin.



Michael Perry with pigs

Author Michael Perry finds inspiration in rural Wisconsin.



Michael Perry in front of the stable

The third treatise by Wisconsin author Michael Perry is “Coop: A Year of Poultry, Pigs and Parenting.”

Last week my friend Frank and I were looking for mushrooms in our forest.

Conditions converged to produce an abundance of mushrooms and it seemed we stopped every few feet to check out a new specimen. Orange, white, gray, golden, speckled, speckled, plain, smooth, rough, scaly, stalked and detached, grown out of the trees or out of the duff, they jumped out everywhere.

I am not familiar with mushroom picking. I can identify the very obvious morel and it wasn’t until this year that I cemented my ability to distinguish between grouse and grouse, but this level of skill is akin to identifying a beach ball in a tub of golf balls. If I had written a mushroom picker guide, it would be three pages long and scrawled in chalk.

Frank, on the other hand, can identify numerous mushrooms, even though he said more than once when I led him to a cluster: “I think this is edible” or “I don’t think you can eat this”, which means that I believe he’s not quite ready for his own YouTube channel yet.

That is, I kept a close eye on him and every time he called to think about it, he left the mushroom alone. The best antidote to eating a poisonous mushroom is to not eat the poisonous mushroom.

In theory we were looking for food, but we were also happy in the wind. We have known each other for years, but only see each other once or twice a year. Our families get on well and we usually end up around a fire pit or share a meal.

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