Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Much Maligned Mushroom



see the silver metal clay pendant at the end of this post
 I have to confess that I am not a mushroom lover.  I also must confess that I am intrigued with their appearance and have taken a great many photos of them from the east coast to the west; from forests to mountains and in my brother’s front yard in Missouri. 
Many of the books I read (you know- the romance novels about Ireland and Scotland) often talk about the importance of fungi in medical treatment and in witch’s brews!  So I thought October would be a great month to share some of those pictures as well as share some of their history.
The ancient Egyptians (about 4600 years ago according to hieroglyphics) thought the mushroom was the plant of immortality.  Mushrooms were declared to be the food for only royalty; no commoners could touch them much less eat them.  Other civilizations thought the mushroom could provide superhuman strength and could lead the souls of men to the land of the gods.
 
Louis XIV is thought to be one of the first mushroom gardeners and France to be the leader in mushroom cultivation.   In the 19th century, mushrooms were cultivated in the United States and we know today many are nutritional and medicinal. 

There are over 100,000 species of fungi so my photographic documentation has just begun!
Our pine tree forests (I live in one) would not exist without these plants growing among the tree roots.  The mushroom helps the host tree with ‘mineral nutrition, resistance to disease and water stress under drought conditions.’ (Peterson Field Guides Mushrooms)  Mushrooms are also important to nutrient recycling in nature and are a food source for animals.  The variety of shapes and sizes, color and kinds of places the fungi grows surprises me.  They grow on trees, under logs, and in grass. 


  Some are edible and some are deadly.  I don’t gather them or eat them.  I just take their pictures and enjoy their visual imagery.  Mushrooms are one of nature’s many visual details that inspire me. 
 
silver metal clay mushroom





Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Much Maligned Mushroom



see the silver metal clay pendant at the end of this post
 I have to confess that I am not a mushroom lover.  I also must confess that I am intrigued with their appearance and have taken a great many photos of them from the east coast to the west; from forests to mountains and in my brother’s front yard in Missouri. 
Many of the books I read (you know- the romance novels about Ireland and Scotland) often talk about the importance of fungi in medical treatment and in witch’s brews!  So I thought October would be a great month to share some of those pictures as well as share some of their history.
The ancient Egyptians (about 4600 years ago according to hieroglyphics) thought the mushroom was the plant of immortality.  Mushrooms were declared to be the food for only royalty; no commoners could touch them much less eat them.  Other civilizations thought the mushroom could provide superhuman strength and could lead the souls of men to the land of the gods.
 
Louis XIV is thought to be one of the first mushroom gardeners and France to be the leader in mushroom cultivation.   In the 19th century, mushrooms were cultivated in the United States and we know today many are nutritional and medicinal. 

There are over 100,000 species of fungi so my photographic documentation has just begun!
Our pine tree forests (I live in one) would not exist without these plants growing among the tree roots.  The mushroom helps the host tree with ‘mineral nutrition, resistance to disease and water stress under drought conditions.’ (Peterson Field Guides Mushrooms)  Mushrooms are also important to nutrient recycling in nature and are a food source for animals.  The variety of shapes and sizes, color and kinds of places the fungi grows surprises me.  They grow on trees, under logs, and in grass. 


  Some are edible and some are deadly.  I don’t gather them or eat them.  I just take their pictures and enjoy their visual imagery.  Mushrooms are one of nature’s many visual details that inspire me. 
 
silver metal clay mushroom