Looking at Fungi

I am fascinated by these things, fungi. Neither fun nor male. A plant that grows in the dark and damp spreading spores not seeds. Some delicious and some deadly. The trick is to be able to tell the difference. SautΓ©d as a treat or a last meal, we take our chances. On these weird forms, little umbrellas or soggy soccer balls, we dream or is it hallucinate. Who is to say? So many colors and textures that catch our eye and we must decide if it is a toadstool or mushroom, benign or lethal, harmless or pathogenic. I wonder if spores released and accidentally inhaled would change me. A parasitic fungus spreads in my lungs, over takes my body, morphs me into something akin to a zombie. Will I seek the dark and damp? If I then ingest portabella is it cannibalism? I never liked to eat mushrooms as a child. Perhaps it was because of a Twilight Zone episode. You know the mushrooms being grown were really taking the place of people, or people were being devoured by the mushrooms. It is hard to tell anymore. I sit huddled next to the space heater on one side and the humidifier on the other trying to get comfortable. We all want comfort and dark and warm and sometimes a little dampness. Like when your hair is wet and wrapped in a towel.

The above is my prose poem about fungi. I have lots of photos as I love to take a few pictures of fungus especially the pretty ones (pretty to me anyway). So here follows a few of my favorites.

This is in response to calmkate’s Friday Fun – Fungi post – please go visit and join in the fun(gi)!

45 thoughts on “Looking at Fungi

  1. I’ve never met a child who liked to eat them. I know I didn’t. The only wild ones I’ve ever eaten are spikes which are OK and morels, which are yummy. There were some in Africa that were as big as large dinner plates when spread out. However you didn’t want to eat them at that stage unless you wanted protein in the form of worms with them. They grew in about 12 hours when conditions were ripe. One place we lived our African neighbor saw some sprouting in the morning. She sat all day and guarded them so no one else would get them. Then she shared one with us. Delicious!

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      1. There are lots of them here, even in my own family. However most of them share with me. They know the good ones from the bad ones, I don’t. It’s a good thing they love me, or they could get rid of me in a hurry!

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  2. I love fungi — but rarely see other than the most common ones, as it’s not damp enough here. Every once in a while we have white mushrooms in the lawn — have you ever seen a fairy circle?

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    1. We are very damp here most of the time. I saw my first fairy circle when I was about 5 – it was in the side yard between my grandmother’s and Mrs. Phillip’s house – a perfect circle of little white mushrooms. It was explained as a fairy circle where they danced. That was the beginning of my marathon reading of the Fairy Books – the Red Fairy, Blue Fairy, Pink Fairy, etc…

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      1. I’ve only ever seen one fairy circle, about 5 years ago. I’d read about them, explained as yours was, and always wanted to see one. It intrigued me that it was such a perfect circle, and there weren’t other mushrooms nearby! When I lived in Seattle, I used to see fungi of other sorts on the Olympic Peninsula (day trips were really interesting there). Fungi really are fascinating!

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    1. So sorry for being a little macabre with alluding to the poison fungus! So glad you liked the prose poem. I did a whole series on fungus (probably 20 orbs)! I think I’ve gotten over the fungus but every once in awhile I am inspired by an especially orbicular one…

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                    1. Hehe! You just made me really giggle! I hardly ever sat a cuss word – once made the boss fall out of his chair because I said “Shit!” and that’s about as bad as it ever gets…

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    1. Every time saintvi and I go to Fernwood Botanical Gardens and Nature Preserve we see loads of interesting fungi… She takes photos of them and I usually focus on the wild flowers. But then again I do sometimes take a couple photos.

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  3. Thanks for the memories. Growing up in Michigan, Mum and Aunt Marge would pick mushrooms in the woods across the street and fry them up with butter. YUM! They were never quite sure which were safe to eat but kids were plentiful. As a young adult (?) I tried and enjoyed the bitter-tasting hallucinogenic variety (had to wrap them in pepperoni to get them down. Those were wonderful too! There’s a lot to be said for life lived with a degree of optimism.

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    1. Now the whole mountain biking thing makes perfect sense! You my dear a bonafide risk taker!!! I’m glad this dredged up some pleasant memories and it makes the case for life lived with a degree of risk!

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  4. I love your prose…😁😁😁and those photos are beautiful…i was telling kate i havent seen one..though i suspect there are many from where i am..i probably am wasnt aware they exist though…now i would have to look for them..lol

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