With the rain comes the possibility of mushrooms and the first to show are the Fly Agaric, having read a little more about them its no wonder that Alice had an adventure in Wonderland! It has a reputation more for killing flies than people as it was traditionally used as a fly killer; perhaps this explains the name? Whilst poisonous it is rarely fatal and is actually eaten in some parts of Germany, Siberia and a few other eastern European countries: I think the trick is to part boil it in lots of water, but I don’t think I’ll be trying them soon even, if it does have hallucinogenic properties
Anyhow the point of this post is to highlight the national obsession that Poland has with mushrooms, people take time off work, cars line the sides of the roads that run through the forests, it even becomes a topic on the national news; but don’t get me wrong, I love it and even take part, hunting for mushrooms whenever I have a spare moment; even by torch light when I take the dogs for a walk in the evening; Cep, Orange Birch Bolete, Slippery Jack and Chanterelle all live in fear of me as I trail through the woods. However the one thing that I’m struggling to get used to is that everybody has the right to roam in Poland and roam they do, through your land! It just take time to get used to it, people passing by as you’re taking a pee in the woods, or even as you use the outside composting toilet, when your picking your nose or signing out of tune! It just doesn’t seen right. But that’s the law in Poland, you can go where you want, whenever you want and the only thing to stop you is a ‘Teren Prywatny’ sign.
Now it was a dilemma for a little while, to put up signs or not, but then I remembered how many fields I wander through whilst walking the dogs, how many woods I stalk my pray in when the Fly Agarics appear; and all in all its not a bad deal having the right to roam. After all everybody else has more land than us and we always clear our land of mushrooms long before the wanderers wander into our not so private land.