opinion

What I See with Peter Fiorenza: Snap evokes magical memories of mushy hunts and close encounter with a bull

Peter FiorenzaGeraldton Guardian
Peter Fiorenza lived out his own version of running with the bulls during one memorable mushroom hunt during childhood.
Camera IconPeter Fiorenza lived out his own version of running with the bulls during one memorable mushroom hunt during childhood. Credit: JON DIMIS/AP

The other day, a friend of mine shared a photograph of herself on social media with a huge mushroom.

It was taken after a mushroom hunt on her property near Northampton and reminded me of my childhood. When my brother and I were young, we would spend much of our school-holiday time with our cousins, Lara and Jane, and hunt for mushrooms in the beautiful Chapman Valley.

Once in the fields, we would rush to white spots dotted across the grass in the distance. Sometimes, these only turned out to be rocks or mounds of sand, but when you did stumble on some of the booty, gee, it was exciting.

It was nothing short of a great adventure, one which I’m not sure many kids these days would have.

MORE OPINION FROM PETER FIORENZA

There was one particular mushroom hunt that I’ll always remember.

After my brother and I begged him for ages, Dad eventually relented, and we headed off into the countryside.

As we started to turn away from the beast, it started to move towards us. Human instinct kicked in and we ran for our lives.

After checking out several possibilities, my brother and I headed into a paddock that looked primed for the white-topped delicacy. After wandering for a while, we came across a bit of a gully lined with trees and a stream running through it.

The only way down into the gully was to literally slide down from the paddock above. It looked interesting, so down we slid. At the base of the gully, we began to explore.

Suddenly, we were stopped in our tracks. Right in front of us stood the biggest bull I have ever seen. OMG.

As we started to turn away from the beast, it started to move towards us. Human instinct kicked in and we ran for our lives. But how were we going to get out of here?

There were steeped grassed walls on all sides. The screaming and yelling seemed to make the bull more angry.

What to do? Just when I thought my fast-beating heart was going to come out, through my mouth, there was Dad leaning over the edge with his arms outstretched.

We both jumped up, grabbed his arms and were dragged up and out to safety.

You know what? I’m not even sure if we came home with any mushrooms that day ...

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