Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Late bloomers

There was the faintest touch of frost on the grass this morning, and the temperature was hovering right around the freezing point when I arose. Still, the garden survived intact and by midday the thermometer was showing a rise of a good thirty degrees. The cold will be coming on, though, and in the last few weeks new outcroppings of fungi have appeared, to get their spores airborne before a killing frost shuts everything down for the year.

I don't harvest wild mushrooms, but I do enjoy photographing them. The best are exuberantly photogenic, and unlike some potential subjects they don't flit off annoyingly just when I get within camera-range. The giant puffballs below — the largest is basketball-size — have been dined upon liberally by some foraging mammal. The rest of the specimens were found on or around stumps or fallen trees, and no doubt have been hard at work at their invisible labor of decomposition deep within.

Update: Needless to say, not everyone is fond of mushrooms. A day or two after I took the photo of the giant puffballs someone gathered them all up and flung them into the bushes.

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