Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Sunshiny Morning with Mushrooms

Normally I take pride in being able to find beauty on a gloomy, rainy day. I enjoy going out in my color-splashed rain boots and rhino coat to do things around the yard or take a walk in the dripping woods. Yesterday I went for a run in those woods, with rain loaded leaves drooping into my path. I was able to delight in the mushroom celebration that is going on at this moment in the dark of the woods, but I wasn't able to translate that delight into written words. Some days are just dark, and yesterday was one of them.

Today I woke, finally, to the sun and blue sky. I confess, despite my disdain for people's inability to enjoy anything but "sunny and 70", there are times when it is all I long for. This moment, with sun shining through my filthy windows and polishing up my dark hair, warming my arms, I am miles happier than I was yesterday or the many rainy days prior.

Now I am able to bring the mushrooms into the sun. They don't like it, which is why they are all out there joyously (for mushrooms) mucking about in the black wetness of the undisturbed woods. I have never in my life seen so many nor such a variety. For all that I know about my local nature, I know next to nothing about mushrooms. It is good for my brain to wonder about new things.

Along and sometimes in the path are fungi literally springing to life before my eyes. Wet, black dirt one moment, and at the next glance, tiny, electric yellow caps, elongated and surely poisonous. Further on my way I am halted by the appearance of a literal forest of what seem to be sea coral sponges! Pale, yellow-ish orange, with all the intricacies of coral, and they carpet the forest floor in multitudes. Most common are the flat mushrooms, capping the ends of longish stems, and with varying degrees of white and cream, they often have what appear to be bites out of them. I imagine some small elf trotting along munching one bite out of each mushroom, as we might out of a box of chocolates. To my hungry imagination, the next batch looks temptingly like large, whole wheat pancakes. I run by with syrup in mind. Sprinkled throughout the woods are startlingly beautiful red fungi, with curled lips and thick bases. They are the red of fall; the deepest red of maples and dusky apples. The most obviously poisonous, (though they may not be, for all I know), are what I think of as toadstools. They conjure what Disney mimics in its rendition of movies like Alice in Wonderland. Egg-yolk yellow with bumps and spots all over, perfectly shaped little umbrellas. I am without a doubt that fairy-folk dance 'round these each night while I sleep.

Later I will take my camera into the woods and try for a mushroom photo gallery. I suspect they will hide from me then, not wishing to be exposed to the world in the midst of their fungus revelry. I shall have to be very sneaky.


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