The forest floor is home to a variety of unusual creatures. This morning, I had an encounter with the most elusive resident of them all.
A flash from the corner of my eye caught my attention. It was early morning, and the forest was thick with dew, perfumed by the scent of pine. I felt I was walking into a cool cathedral, my Sagrada Família of the Green Mountains.
The flash came from under the spiky bough of a 50 year-old stately pine. I pulled back the bough and found a troop of mushrooms. They were tightly clustered, well out of sight, and off the beaten path. On closer examination I realized, I stumbled upon a kingdom of woodland fairies.
Some people actually think fairies are nothing more than a whimsical flight of fancy. Nonsense! For someone who regularly slinks along nature’s floor, I have had many mysterious encounters with sprites. I am convinced of their existence. How else would you explain this finely designed housing complex, disguised as a benign group of mushrooms?
Fairies are very clever architects. When picking a house-site some fairies prefer the security of terra firma. They scout out dwellings that can house an entire communities of nymphs, such as this fine clump of fungi. For fairies, mushrooms made a premier residence. The caps create excellent, well detailed roofs, sheltering them from the unexpected shower, and the broad and towering stems create grand entrances for each family.
Being ultimate gardeners, fairies plant either clover or blooming grass near their front doors so guests don’t accidentally pass by. They also take great care in keeping their residences tidy, so it is not unusual to find a twig propped up against the front door ー a broom in the ready.
By the time I lowered my camera, resting it on a mound of moss, the fairies silently fluttered away, but the evidence of their presence was indisputable.
So the next time you enter the forest, tread softly and speak in whispers for if you believe you may also stumble upon a magical kingdom.
Live in color,
Those that don’t believe in magic will never find it