What You Don’t Know May Kill You

This may never happen again, an apple tree with red ripe apples and blossoms at the same time.

This will happen again and again, red maple leaves at the start of fall.

The fall rains have set off the mushrooms. The forest floor is covered with them. I bought an extensive guide book on mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest, but even with all the pictures and descriptions, I don’t have the nerve to pick one and take a nibble.

Back in my grade school days in Japan, I brought back an interesting plant from the forest. The stalk looked succulent and tasty, so my mother and I took a few bites. I don’t remember clearly what it tasted like. I do remember the fear I felt when our tongues and lips went numb. We didn’t die, but that was a good lesson not to eat plants you don’t know.

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