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For the hopeful, the adage "hope springs eternal" is an artifact of faith--a principle that sustains optimism in the most dire on moments. For those wedded to this principle, when one happens to find oneself tossed on a dark and angry sea of despair, it constitutes the "driftwood" to which one might cling to save oneself and in so doing sustain hope. Hope promises a chance.

Granny always admonished us, "Keep the faith." She was a warm and loving woman who had been embattled and tested by life--a teen during the Great Depression, her husband died at age 38; she raised 2 kids (one my mother) in a tiny cabin/house while working odd jobs in her hometown that never grew larger than 712; her son (my uncle) died of a brain aneurysm at age 31; her granddaughter (my sister) drowned at age 14 in the Maquoketa River; her hands were often red and swollen from peeling potatoes at the local cafe. She epitomized struggle but somehow managed to keep things together and endure. She was a battler. She was on medical leave from her job at WalMart when she died at age 68 of cancer after a botched radium pack procedure. Her final words whispered to me were "Keep the faith." It is worth noting that Granny never went to church.

Objectively speaking, although worthy principles unlimited in potential, hope and optimism are ultimately subject to limitations in the existential realm of the individual; Some--like Granny--are much stronger than others. Although still clinging, I must concede that my hope and optimism are flagging. This season is testing my faith. Every post I read from surrounding state--MO, KS, IL--reinforces this. Local news points out that this April was, by far, the most deficient on record for moisture. Cracks worthy of August are already formed in the lawn. The ponds are so low that spawning routines are interrupted, altered.

I wonder what it was like in the spring of 1936, prior to the awful summer in the midst of the Dust Bowl? Granny was 17 that year. She spoke of sleeping outside under stars. Perhaps that is what gave her faith and hope?

So, come hell or high water, I keep the faith. It may seem like we are on the verge of a SHROOMPACALYPSE. Gotta keep the faith. Follow the rain. Hope stops short of promise. Come whatever may, as certain as the stars will shine, another season will refresh and inspire us in less than 365 sunrises.

Hope tested but intact, I'm now heading to the woods. Good luck all.
 

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I hear ya, SG. I am almost afraid to go look and have postponed my initial hunt out of fear. The trepidation is real. Just this morning, for instance, I got my truck all packed, filled the tank with gas, etc., with the idea I was heading south to my reliable early spot. But I backed out. I’ve never experienced this before.

But the day is young, and hope springs eternal as it were. Maybe I’ll hit the road yet.

Great post, SG. Good luck on your hunt, and to everyone else as well.
 

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Remember to think as you were the rain. Where would you flow to? Go their and keep going with the flow. Why we are short on rains, We have been at 53 or above ( ISU ) for 6 days now. Let's get this season started.
 

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I have no fancy mushroom name.
I have hunted Eastern Nebraska for over 50 years. We moved to Arizona last year and my spots flourished for my friends. We have returned and I just found 4 miniature guys on my faithful "barometer tree". I marked them only for a growth study but Monday will be 85 degrees and they will not like that. Our farm has sold where the 8/9 inch monsters I picked when I was 12 years old were handed over to Mom for frying. Hope you all don't mind me reaching out from across the border.
 

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Good to hear from you Dean. Interesting info. Appreciate it. I went to my early spots and got skunked. Too dry, but I think if I go back Friday after some moisture that I will find some.

This drought is concerning for lots of reasons.
 

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Rain here in Woodbury co last night and this morning, windy and cool, but it should warm up soon , after finding a few near Missouri Vally on SAturday, I am confident things should pop this week,
Always fun to read your musings SG , we have it great compared to our ancestors for sure, I would give anything to walk the woodlands with my Grandma again, when I was 5 or 6 she would take me out sh rooming on the same grounds I now walk, I'm sure I was just a pain in the ass and don't ever remember Finding a thing, but I treasure her memories as I hike over hill and dale. These are the good old days as far as I am concered
 

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I have to admit you guys are more fun to talk with than my fellow Show me Staters. Nice stories dudes. I did all the hunts also with the Grandparents, uncles, was always exciting. Most all of them are gone now and sometimes I drive by timbers I hunted in with one of them and the memories return. Don't panic up there, I have to be drier than anywhere in Iowa and they have just really started down here 70 miles south of the border. But I hear you, no mud and no morels. Just was so cold this year so long, most lilacs are still not in bloom in town. Dean, were you north or south of Omaha?
 

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Jeez after reading over SG's post and I think of my mother growing up in Wyoming, and my 95 year old mother law who moved out and boarded with and raised other families at 14. What in the blank is wrong with all these people today who need a handout to do anything? Sorry just a small rant.
 

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Kb, I always follow your hunts with interest and amazement. Lots of rain coming to the Omaha metro the next couple of days. Gonna try to get out on Fri afternoon to see what’s going on.
 

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Glad to see you survived another winter SW. It was a long one. This has been a weird year, mostly due to spotty rain. Most of Kansas was to dry to bother with until recently. Can't fill boxes in the dust usually. They are coming on in spots with more rain, this stuff tonight up north is a dream. Just hope no one gets hurt in the storms. The hot weather coming may make for a short season. I expect you will do fine by Friday. Unless it cools down I will be north of you a week later.
 

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HG, wow the season is moving north fast now. I don't like it but I'll just have to move faster. It refused to warm up and then we jumped to June. Needs to cool back down or the season will be short. I planned on being up where you are about 3 weeks from now. Good Luck dude, hope you pick until your fingers bleed.
 
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