Great to see Candy and Stagg tonight! Great dinner at 850 Degrees here in Long Branch. The photo in this post is Stagg with Tuffy P in our kitchen….making coffee….but other captions are possible.
I took Friday off work and headed up to the secret enchanted mushroom forests to do some foraging. I didn’t have high expectations because the rain we received mid-week wasn’t nearly enough to encourage a good flush of tasty edibles. However, wandering around a forest always makes for a good day, with or without lots of mushrooms to pick.
I went to my most reliable chanterelle spot first and found nothing at all. It was a mushroom-free zone of the worst order. I wandered down the trail thinking I should give the whole area at least a quick look before abandoning ship. I almost stepped on the chanterelles in the picture below, as they were on the edge of the trail I was walking.
Look how well hidden they are in the leaves on the floor of the forest. Encouraged by this find, I examined this chunk of forest carefully. I found just 8 chanterelles in total. I also found two bug-eaten examples of hypomyces lactifluorum. Aha, I thought. The lobsters have started. I high-tailed it over to a nearby forest that always has loads of lobsters, but nada. So I drove to another productive lobster spot, a boggy hemlock forest. Again nada. At this spot, I was reminded that there are many inconsiderate idiots roaming this planet. See the photo below:
Who did they think was going to clean up after them?
Off I went to yet another forest. This is one I’ve only recently learned about. However, today there were no mushrooms around. It was a beautiful forest to walk through though.
Later on Friday, our pals Candy and Stagg came over, and also Behzad, another friend we’ve known for many years. We enjoyed some bbq and a couple excellent games of scrabble. It was great to see Candy and Stagg, who have been on an incredible roadtrip and recently arrived in Toronto.
OK, not from Istanbul…but we did get a telephone call from Louisiana tonight from our pals Anthony and Candy, calling from a campground somewhere outside of New Orleans. How great to hear from them. We’ve been following the progress of their amazing road-trip on Candy’s blog. It seems like only yesterday we were on a road-trip with them. We had met up at the International Accordion Festival in San Antonio Texas and drove across Louisiana to New Orleans, having a great time along the way.
That was last night, and quite a night it was at S&J’s place. Great company, many friends, fabulous food, good cheer.
We were at the Ron Bloore memorial event Sunday night at the Royal Ontario Museum. Former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson spoke, along with a few others, including Ron’s long-time studio assistant and friend Hank Roest. A number of Bloore’s paintings were hung, reminding me what a marvellous painter he was, throughout his career.
I found my self transported back to York University in the 80s, when Bloore raised the bar for me, and pushed me to find my own path as a painter. I remembered our many sketching trips later on. We would walk the forest paths, most of us looking for a vista to draw or paint. Bloore would sit under a tree and start a fantastic pencil drawing of the forest floor at his feet. We always brought a picnic lunch, and usually Ron would bring along a bottle of Retsina. I loved those days.
I recalled the many lunches, when several of us would meet up at the Bloore studio, then head out for a lunch peppered with lively discussion. It seems like yesterday, Bloore looking up over his lunch plate, saying he liked painting because you could look at a painting, see it all at once and know within a fraction of a second if you wanted to invest more time in it. This he compared to film, which required a different kind of leap of faith – the willingness to invest the time, sight unseen.
Ron Bloore was a great painter, a Canadian cultural treasure and a dear friend.