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A Thai truffle dog – lesson 4

June 19, 2010

Today we repeated lesson 3. Ruben went straight to the first heap of buried truffles and started digging without me asking him to. He found the truffles and devoured them. I took him aside and rewarded him verbally and gave him a cracker. I asked him to search again (this time I had two more heaps of buried truffles). By some reason he would not find the second lot that easily. I frankly believe that when he dug for his first lot, the dust cloud went into his nostrils and clogged them. In a real situation, it would be a damp rainy season and no dust cloud due to digging. Anyhow, Ruben eventually found his second lot and dug without any orders. We searched for the third lot, and I had actually forgotten were it was, but Ruben found it – under my feet!

After this we took a normal walk. Ruben usually gets very excited when he can sense the mongoose. He never sees them (I do), but he can smell them, and gets really excited. I have never seen them inside Dokmai Garden, but we mysteriously lose chicken and rabbits.

Ruben is now ready for the real situation. We need rain, so we can get mushrooms, and go truffle hunting for real.

Previous lessons:

Lesson 3

Lesson 2

Lesson 1

Eric Danell and Ruben

In the market, Thai truffles (Astraeus hygrometricus) may be wrapped in dipterocarp leaves.

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 22, 2010 3:19 AM

    Hi Eric,

    It’s long without having news from you, and I just found you in Tailand!
    I haven’t heard about Astraeus could have any market value. It’s amazing that it has its own market in Tailand.
    I pick up lots of Astraeus for our work because sometimes we use it as inoculum in mycorrhizal experiemnts with mediterranean shrubs and trees, but here always fruits over the soil, but it’s true that when they are inmature they are still buried and sometimes hard to see, that I guess is the best stage to be eaten…

    Quite interesting…

    Best regards from Barcelona

    Marcos Morcillo
    Rbla. Arnau de Vilanova, 6 local D
    08800 Vilanova i la Geltrú
    Barcelona SPAIN
    Tel/Fax: +34938155455

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