|Epic shelf, spotted on Oak Knoll rd.|
|"Indian pipes," Mt. Pisgah Hemlock trail, near Ontario, WI.|
|Along the Hemlock trail.|
|(Not to scale.)|
|Lonely poisonous mushroom...|
|Tree 'shrooms, Wildcat Mt. State Park, near Ontario, WI.|
|(Also not to scale...)|
i'm not a student of mushrooms or fungi in particular, but i'm fascinated by their ephemeral nature,- popping up suddenly just when their time is right and disappearing a day or two or even hours after they appear. Pushing out of the duff or growing out of a tree's bark.
My dad would never ever eat a mushroom. "They have no food value," was one of his stock sayings. i have no idea which if any of these are edible- and remember that edible does not automatically imply palatable - and even veteran mushroom hunters dispute among themselves what mushrooms are edible or non-poisonous. i'll continue to only trust commercially raised mushrooms and at that with a cautious and skeptical eye.
And this from the late John Cage:
"Dorothy Norman invited me to dinner in New York.
There was a lady there from Philadelphia who was
an authority on Buddhist art. When she found out
I was interested in mushrooms, she said, “Have
you an explanation of the symbolism involved in the
death of the Buddha by his eating a mushroom?”
I explained that I’d never been interested in
symbolism; that I preferred just taking things as
themselves, not as standing for other things.
But then a few days later while rambling in the
woods I got to thinking. I recalled the Indian
concept of the relation of life and the seasons.
Spring is Creation.
Summer is Preservation.
Fall is Destruction.
Winter is Quiescence.
Mushrooms grow most vigorously in
the fall, the period of destruction, and the
function of many of them is to bring about the final
decay of rotting material. In fact, as I
read somewhere, the world would be an impassible
heap of old rubbish were it not for mushrooms and
their capacity to get rid of it.
So I wrote to the lady in Philadelphia.
“The function of mushrooms is to rid the world of old
The Buddha died a natural death.”"