I took a short walk in the woods yesterday, just as the sun was beginning to set. I visited the birch tree for a time and then made my usual circuit. I will sometimes deviate and wander from my path - up the hills, over the craggy heights, around the clearing beyond. Deer season keeps me closer to home, and that is okay because there is always something new to see in the forest.
I love to look at the little things: vine-like moss creeping over the dead leaves; the last of the ferns; the color of rotting wood; a moth crouching against the chill; the every shifting population of fungi... Mushrooms continue to fascinate me. I really should look into finding a mycology class. I would love to learn more about them and which ones are safe to eat. I don't often find fly agaric mushrooms in the woods. This year's record is three. Something about their iconic connection to magic and myth has clutched at me since finding my first early summer. I find myself more observant of all mushrooms. I've never paid them so much attention before this year.
As I walked in the woods, I realized that. I also realized that I spent more time getting to know the forest this past summer than I had before. I finally feel (mostly) safe there. I feel (mostly) welcomed. To me, the mushrooms symbolize my growing relationship with this new forest. As the winter rolls in with it's uncomfortable bite, I've found myself bringing the spirit of the mushrooms inside with me. Now my tree spirits have mushroom spirit friends. I cannot wait to post a photo. They've quickly become one of my favorite things to make!
( For My LJ Friends: http://adfcatprints.blogspot.com/ )