House Bill (HB) 1585, the brain child of Rep. Bill Friend, of up Kokomo
way (not to be construed as a “friend” of good conservation practices),
has been heard in the Senate after passing the originating House, and has
been somehow sidelined. They call it quarantined.
But fear not, ye good conservationists and resource managers, I hear
the concept of the smelly bill will be taken up by the Summer (Legislative)
Study Committee this summer.
A true “friend”of unpopular concepts involving natural resources, said
legislator rode herd on a deer pen bill a few years ago until a much involved
constituent--should that be client--was sent to the Big House for unlawful
If the summer panel of legislators wastes time on this matter, it may
be time to sing the group’s swan song.
Several years ago the legislature decided to let DNR personnel manage
wildlife, that most of those passing such matter knew little of what they
were voting on, and cared even less. Now HB 1585 seeks to give deer matters
(seasons and bag limits) back to the self-same admitted dumbos (in such
matters). This, in effect, would put the matter in the hands of constituents
who just can’t stand deer . . . to Hades with the years of education
the wildlife manager own.
-- If you adhere to the army of mushroom hunters who eat spearheads, there
is something you should be considering when you prepare them for the skillet.
As you may know, the so-called spearhead has several different pseudonyms,
but whatever moniker you bestow on this mushroom it may be cautiously edible
. . . and it may NOT.
The focal point for determining which is which can best be determined
at what point the cap and stem are joined. Otherwise, they are pretty much
I had my first-known encounter with these elements several years ago
when I got home with a big sack of spearheads to find myself alone and
hungry as the proverbial dog.
To rustle up some chow, I simply followed my procedures for morels (that
includes spearheads), and cleaned them up with no other food. I would not
go so far as to say they were poisonous, but shortly thereafter I found
myself nervous and weak as a cat.
What I had done was pick a big sack of mostly Verpa bohemica,
their scientific name, thinking they were Morchella elata, the true
Morchella elata, of course, is edible, but not as good as the
true morels, several species in number. Verpa bohemica, on the other
hand, is a bit toxic for some people.
Actually, if one sticks to the true morels, the stalks of the two will
be different . . . the morel stalk smooth and slick; the spearhead stalk
being mealy. Both have hollow stems.
Still the manner in which caps and stalks are joined will tell the story.
Another of the Verpa clan you may find is the thimble mushroom,
a cap with a smooth cap surface that reminds me of a soft-shell turtle’s
back. It also is known as the bell morel and usually has a cap about one
-- Travelling from Marion (Indianapolis) and Hamilton counties, you will
notice that the spring is springing much faster as you go south, and slower
as you go north.
The reality of the advancement of the seasons is not as obvious in winter
months, when there often is a snow cover from north to south, but spring
foliage points it out more graphically.