“Nature alone is antique, and the oldest art a mushroom.”
It’s a cold and gloomy day here with drizzly rain and lots of mud. Jack doesn’t seem to mind, but I’m finding it a bit grim. Everything looks so dirty. The sidewalks are coated with gritty sand, the grass is grey and the landscape is devoid of colour. I tried to keep a cheerful outlook thinking perhaps I could find a few snowdrops or an early hyacinth, but nope, I could not find any flowers today. I did find a pretty piece of turkey tail fungus, though, pretending to be a flower. It will have to do until the real thing comes along.
Nightjar has been stalking the light with her camera again and here is her feature for the month of January.
January Light can be as bright as it gets when the sun is shining and dew is reflecting sunlight in all directions. The first three photos show this very well and illustrate what sunny January mornings are like here. But January can be rainy and cloudy too, with the subdued light and soaked forest producing a very different mood. On rainy days colours aren’t bright, but they are quite saturated and rich as the last three photos show. Whatever version of January Light we get, green is ubiquitous and irresistible.
It’s time for the next chapter in Nightjar’s series.
I often amaze myself with the amount of time spent and number of photos taken without looking past a square meter of space. A love for macro photography tends to do that to people, I guess. Coming down the West Hill I noticed a patch of moss and lichen. It was a small patch, but with so many things going on. Enough to fill the last two chapters of this series. First, I was fascinated by tiny lichen.
Here is Nightjar with the next chapter in her series.
We are now at the southern base of the West Hill and the entrance looks inviting. We are in a totally different environment, the soils here are obviously more fertile and can sustain denser vegetation. Let’s go up.
I think this sad little group of mushrooms looks like Can Can dancers who’ve fallen and can’t get up. Or maybe ballerinas in tutus twirling on their heads. Or even quite possibly like the petticoats of fairies bent over to touch their toes. Whatever the case, Jack and I stopped to say a cheerful “hello” before continuing on our way.
I was all excited earlier this morning because it began to snow. Hooray, I said to Jack, thinking we would get a nice fresh, white blanket to cover up the dull grays and browns of a soggy December. Then the snow stopped and what few flakes had fallen melted away leaving behind only gloomy skies and the same slippery, gray landscape. Sigh.
Yesterday we saw Part 1 of Nightjar’s quest to find mushrooms as a Tree Tuesday post. Today, the mushrooms have been found and Nightjar’s photos of them are so wonderfully evocative that I can almost smell that earthy forest scent.
... and here are the mushrooms! The yellow Tricholoma equestre were the ones we were searching for, and we did find enough for a meal. And then there were some pretty ones of unknown edibility (to us). There were more, but the mosquitoes make photography a very difficult task.
Thanks for braving the mosquitoes to get these photos, Nightjar, and thanks for sharing.
As tends to happen, I’d forgotten about these beauties. This is a fungal skeleton I came across one early autumn morning, and in that delicious light, it was irresistible. The word that comes to mind is fragility.
For more mushroom fun, I found this wonderful piece:
And Sting has the perfect song for us:
Today we have the last of Avalus’ photos from the natural burial forest, ending fittingly with a view of the forest itself. These burial forests are not only natural, but also safe and life sustaining. They’re one of nature’s best ways of recycling and there’s a growing demand for this type of burial option. One of the other big benefits of natural burial is that it is much more cost effective than the traditional care offered by the funeral industry of today.
My thanks to Avalus for his wonderful tour. I’ve enjoyed walking through the forest with him and seeing the myriad of fungi that grow here.