Maple Mountian morels

Modern everyday technology is pretty amazing. It’s easy to lose sight of that, but here we have lifelong family friend David Kann spending the weekend in the hills of Western PA with my dad hunting for morel mushrooms and snapping photos on his Iphone, which he promptly sends to me in China and I throw them up here for you, whoever you are, to see. I really love the immediacy of getting these pictures from him. And they do make me homesick.

One of the interesting things about living abroad for an extended time is it sharpens your mind about what you miss and what you don’t. Truthfully, this piece of land in Westmoreland County, PA is the only place I miss. I miss plenty of people, but I don’t really long for any place except here. And since I only went there a few times a year when I lived in NJ, this is interesting and a little surprising to me.

Looking at these photos I can smell the mud and decomposing leaves and I want to be there. I’m also struck by how late spring is — where are the leaves and flowers? We’re in full, lush bloom here, especially after the last 36 hours, which probably had more rain than any other stretch since I’ve been here. Anna and I rode bikes to school this morning and saw a giant frog. On the way back, I helped it up the curb and into the bushes. I didn’t think that a compound employee would be as accommodating if they discovered him.

Those of you who know precisely where the place is,
check out this Google map. Start zooming in and you can find “Thomas Drive.” Remarkable. Nothing is remote any more.

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