Tour of Mushrooms
I take the same walking route every time I go out, possibly because I like paying too much attention to my surroundings. It’s absorbing to me to watch the progression of plant growth through seasons and to notice new things in all the same places.
Currently, I am quite curious about what the hell is going on with the neighborhood mushrooms. Because about 3 weeks ago, for about a half mile in all directions from my house the most remarkable assortment of mushrooms I’ve ever seen started appearing. I don’t remember seeing such an interesting variety of mushrooms all over the place last year- or ever, in fact. Especially all at once; it’s like there’s a convention of them. A damp, mysterious convention.
No, that’s not true. They’ve been nothing but fun and I salute them for giving me such adorable details to see whenever I put my headphones on and go for a walk lately. What follows is a selection of the cream of the mushroom crop in my vicinity. Keep in mind: the players I’ve featured here that are serving fairytale storybook realness are backed by a strong supporting cast of the more typical yard variety mushrooms. (It’s been weird- they’re everywhere.)
They were first up. They’re still in pushing-through-dirt-mode, so cool.
There were some similar ones elsewhere:
I haven’t attempted to identify them, but I should, just for fun. Any excuse to look at field guides.
I forgot to mention the actual fairy ring of these fellows around my rosemary. Very nice.
Something about the light and color of this photo gives me “1970’s textbook” feelings. I love that little group standing over there, looking like spectators. The smallest one in front is a little bored.
This front yard is massive and there were two different lines of these guys at the same time, quite near each other. They look like they’re on their way to a picnic spot.
A sprightly pair, deeply into presenting looks of pleasing asymmetry. Charming!
And finally, we have…
I couldn’t believe this one. Stunning.
There were also 3 or 4 gross puffballs nestled like ostrich eggs in the grass next to some condos. I left them alone.
So yeah, I’ve been nerding out over this. Would you? It also teases my imagination and makes me think of weird, old, arcane fairy folklore, which is so much fun. Not pink-glitter-fairy, but weird-fairy. The good stuff that gets dark & creepy at times.
Entry on fairy rings illustrated by Alan Lee from the book ‘Faeries’ by Brian Froud and Alan Lee.
Facing page, also by Lee:
Perhaps there are unseen hordes of magical creatures raining hell down on my roof every night. Mycology is interesting, but I get distracted with tangentially related stories and artwork from elsewhere.