Me and my mushroom book

I was noticing mushrooms. Just noticing. Catching sight of one, two as I looked for something else. A few summers ago I hiked regularly at a state park and one morning noticed dollops of neon yellow splashed across the brown forest floor. Got my glasses out of my backpack. Mushrooms. Googled them later. Chanterelles. Had they always been there? I don’t know; I was looking at wildflowers, rocks, weird trees. Watching my step. Then I noticed there were red mushrooms, too. Bright red. So I bought a field guide. My mushroom book. The red mushrooms were poisonous. Beautiful poison, though. Little satans and ladies in red. I started taking pictures of mushrooms. Captured two perfect little mom and pop Puffballs on a hike to a waterfall. Snapped a long leg spider perched atop a colony of Velvet Foot in the middle of a trail walked by

Lewis and Clark. My mushroom book explained the variety and intricacy of fungi. So I began to take lots of pictures of mushrooms. Sought them everywhere, and found them. Nature Instagram was finding them, too. Had that always been so? I went camping at the end of summer. Lake, bikes, trails. But the highlight for me, looking back, was my entire family looking at the ground. There’s one! There’s one! Me and my mushroom book; spreading the gospel of fungi appreciation. I call this photograph Daredevil. Because I think (consulting my mushroom book) our little friend is taking a chance on that one.

Copyright RC 2018

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