Fungal Treasures

If you visit ToadChapel from time to time you know I’m fond of mushrooms. I love their personalities, opportunism, and gentle tenacity. They inform my artwork, but more than that they speak deeply to my imagination and spirit.

I traveled to Northeast Pennsylvania for Will’s wedding this weekend and got a chance to explore the forest outside the farmhouse we rented. I was rewarded with many wondrous discoveries at my feet.

Tattered white mushrooms that resemble a bouquet of flowers.

There were lots of mushrooms in the area.

Turkey Tail Mushroom

Many different kinds.

Many colors.

The death of a tree meant abundant life to these beautiful oyster mushrooms.

At least I think they’re oysters. As in everything else, I don’t claim to be an expert.

Small mushroom with a large cap.

I found little ones.

Large bolete mushroom with pores visible beneath the cap.

And great big ones.

Each beautiful in its own mysterious way.

Tiny bright orange mushrooms growing upside down under the bark of a downed tree limb.

Tiny mushroom growing in a forest of fern moss.

Each finding its own ideal environment.

Some mushrooms are adorably tiny. Yet the planet’s largest organisms are mushrooms, hidden beneath our feet.

Many are ephemeral, or so it often seems. In fact some are many thousands of years old.

I’m not sure I can explain exactly why I’m so attracted to mushrooms, but I am. I admire their strange beauty, their reclusive tendencies, their delicacy, and their power.

I was lucky to get out into the woods on such a prolific weekend.

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