I have found another Tree of Life located not far from the first.
Both are ancient sugar maples near a walking path that I frequent.
There is a variety of fungi tucked in its nooks and crannies.
The bark surface is covered with moss and lichens.
The mushrooms came and went each day.
My next post will be about Tree of Life One.
It is further along in the cycle of death and life.
FLOW and Ebb
I have been ignoring the fairies.
My mind has been on the pandemic, politics and bereavement.
To tell the truth, I was thinking all good magic had left the Earth.
As one of my friends puts it, “The Force has been disturbed.”
So I was pleased to find this purple mushroom
strategically placed by our trail in the mountains
where we would be sure to see it as we passed.
I have never seen the purple mushroom, ‘Viscid Violet Cort’,
so I knew immediately that it was from the fairies.
They have houses here in the mountains also, made of moss and stone.
They were letting me know all is not lost.
I was not sure if I was supposed to eat this message after seeing it,
so I left it to spread its spores.
Maybe next fall I will find a family of purple Cortinarius indes among the detritus of this terrible 2020.
My heart goes out to the fairies.
Take heart folks. There is still some good magic amongst us.
This darling little button looks good enough to eat.
Not a good idea though.
It’s an Amanita muscaria, Fly Agaric mushroom button.
In the past, it was mixed with milk to drug houseflies.
Don’t count on our North American species to produce visions.
Eating this will produce sweating and dilirium.
Eye candy only. It’s poisonous.
One of my favorite mushrooms is the Indigo Milky Cap.
It is one of my favorite colors, Indigo blue, and has an unusual shape and texture.
It has been wet here in North Carolina. I should have been out indigo hunting.
I almost missed these. They have all ready faded, but are still beautiful.
The advantage of finding them late is the snails have found them, too.
The snails and I both love these Lactarius indigo mushrooms.
All it takes is rain for the fungus flowers to appear.
Even in winter, the bonnets bloom.
Perched on stalks like tiny parasols.
Raised only inches high to open their tops
and stretch out their gills
to spread their spores
to sow some more
I found a surprise while hiking in the mountains last week.
How lucky to find a lovely grouping of Jack O’Lantern mushrooms on a fall afternoon.
These orange Omphalotus olearius may look yummy, but they are poisonous.
These were perfectly positioned right beside the trail.
I have heard that the gills glow green in the dark, but I have never seen this.
The leaves had not transformed to their lovely fall colors yet here in North Carolina.
I am glad the Jack O’Lanterns stepped in to add color.
I spied some yellow umbrellas under a Key lime tree.
If I were a fairy, I would have sat under one to drink lemonade.
Since I am only a busy human, I had to continue with my menial tasks.
But I can dream while I work
of sitting under a yellow umbrella
beneath a Key lime tree
drinking lemonade in the shade.
I am always on the lookout for some fun fungi.
One of my favorites is the Indigo Milky Cap mushroom, Lactarius indigo.
I think they are lovely.
The inside and sap are true indigo blue.
These show up under our oaks in the fall.
This one has a distorted shape. It is rubbery and tough. I never eat wild mushrooms. I love my liver.
It’s not all flowers here in my garden.
I found this little colony of cup fungi while weeding.
I have looked in all my books, but there is no perfect match.
The white stalk and jelly inside do not fit with all the photos.
Anybody out there know their name?