It was a memorable moment when I heard a room full of 4th graders giggle as they listened to Prospero from Shakespeare’s The Tempest address the elves that make “midnight mushrumps.” It does sound funny, mushrumps, or mushrooms to the uninitiated. In spite of the sound they are certainly one of those growths that are unusual and mystical to me. They conjure fairies, gnomes and sprites as well as pipe-smoking caterpillars.
Today I saw more mushrumps growing in the wild than I have in my entire life. I took a walk around Benedict Pond, my old friend that has inspired many of my blogs (On Benedict Pond). I don’t usually get to trip around the pond in summertime when I am at my busiest acting and teaching, so I have missed the mushroom extravaganza until now.
Growing all along the path around the lake were variegated mushrooms. It was as though Hansel and Gretel had dropped them, instead of bread crumbs, all along the lake in order to find their way home. I made up a song as I bounced along based on a children’s tune my girls used to love by Raffi, “There were fat ones, skinny ones, fair ones too.” Adding my own lyrics, “Tiny ones, BIG ones, and long-necked tricks. Red ones, orange ones and mis-shapen dicks,” (a nod to Mr. Shakespeare where young Prince Edward in Henry VI Part 3 yells at his uncle, Richard…“And thou mis-shapen Dick, I tell ye all I am your better”). But I digress…
Nature never ceases to amaze me and the caps popping out of the leaf decaying soil played a magical game of hide and seek. I really don’t know anything about mushrooms other than you never eat them unless you know what you are hunting. Besides they are too beautiful and quirky to disturb. Like a floppy mole hiding in your armpit.
Enjoy this series of mushrooms all on one path, in one hour, on one day, by one lake. How one-of-a-kind lucky am I?
I see the details. The small pebble, the tiny leaf, the surprise 1.5” gnome some magical person planted along the forest trail. I may not always see the big picture while I’m peering at minutiae, but that’s ok. There are plenty of wide-angle views out there. I have written about this before, but my life is charmed. Things happen to me that cause such heart stopping delight and I seem to get more than my share of these moments.
This week I sauntered upon two. The gnome and the porcupine… Continue reading
As “my” cabbages continue to grow in the woods, my eyes are drawn up to the trees. Maybe it’s because I am listening to The Lord of the Rings audio book and the endearing antics of hobbits in the forest of Fangorn. I’ve always loved trees but I am seeing new identities in the bark and stumps today, a whale, an infinity sign, and many, many images of the letter Y. Interesting to ponder the “Y” or WHY? Continue reading
You can see the burgundy protective shell falling away
I continue on from my previous blog to watch the skunk cabbage transform in the Northeast. It completely changes and opens up it’s thick, protective rubbery skin to release beautiful green leaves. It’s not smelling like skunk yet, so I am awaiting that event with tempered enthusiasm. Continue reading
Hello my friends. It has been over a year since I’ve posted a blog. WHAT? Yes, life got busy, I didn’t feel that I had anything new to say and I worked more and meandered a little less. But here we are in a new era of stay-at-home-for-my-own-good-and-the-rest-of-the-world. Being a director/teacher/actor makes me one of the horde that has been laid off until further notice. So now there is no excuse not to post and write. So we will call this the Meandering of the Mind series since “going out’ can really mean “going in” as John Muir says.
I went out for a solitary walk along a large pond. I marvel that there is always something new to discover. I have never seen the blooming of the skunk cabbage plant and I would not have guessed that they looked like this…
To see them bursting through the decaying leaves and swampy ground was better than any outdoor sculpture park I’ve seen. I am not a fan of modern, metal monstrosities in my woods, I like my trees and nature unadulterated and these growing skunk cabbages are the perfect illustration of why. You couldn’t ask for a better bit of sculpting to admire, with color, texture and medium perfectly suited to their surroundings. They are quite thick and sturdy right now, and remind me of the protea flowers that I first discovered in Hawaii with an almost woody strength. Continue reading
After a wonderful stop outside Minneapolis, Minnesota to visit family we are back on the road to get to Mackinac Island on Lake Huron. Just about an hour outside of Lake Ham, MN, we finally saw a bear! A darling black bear was crossing the road and after he got across, he turned to look at us and showed us his darling brown snout as if he was posing for a picture. Unfortunately, I wasn’t quick enough to grab my phone. Continue reading
Today I decided to get myself to the doctor to check out my ears and dizziness. And as I surmised, I have a myriad of things happening in my ears because of the virus and was prescribed nose spray and anti-nausea meds and more over-the-counter decongestants. But all is well, I am feeling much, much better and glad to have had a doctor take a look just to rule out anything that might hurt my hearing. Continue reading
In Custer, Wyoming
I’m feeling like a Queen Bee sitting in our luxury room at the Celebrity Hotel, with Herbie the original Lovebug (from Disney movie fame) a few walls away. It has been a super day and I’m feeling extremely lucky. First off we had many belly laughs, so I know I am feeling better. It was a lovely drive to Crazy Horse Monument. Sharing this area with Audrey has been special. She loved Crazy Horse too, and we both like it more than Mount Rushmore, even though it is not going to be finished for a hundred years or more. The non-profit nature of it, the heart behind honoring the Native Americans, plus the shear gumption of one man taking on such a legacy while knowing he would die before seeing it even close to being finished. (read more in my blog from 2012, Lost my heart in the Black Hills…) But we did see a shaggy mountain goat at Mount Rushmore so that added to the presidential fun. Continue reading
Good bye to Yellowstone
Each day I keep hoping to wake up and feel back to my normal happy, healthy self. We had to move on from Yellowstone, whether I felt up for it or not, we have a large country to cross. So I was up early, feeling not so dizzy or nauseous, but not up to par either. We had a long day of driving and such beautiful scenery and thank goodness we are listening to a great audio book called The Book Thief. And as lousy as I felt, the book was a reminder that my troubles are worthless when compared to the plight of the Jews in WWII. Continue reading
Sometimes you have all the luck and your life is charmed, sometimes you hit a large pothole in the road. Today I was at the pothole. I woke up with the room spinning wildly around while my eyes were closed. Thanks to Mr. Hitchcock we all know the word VERTIGO and I was gripping the side of the bed while it spinned. Welcome to my morning. I did a quick google search and deduced that I most likely have an inner ear infection brought on by the virus I have been fighting off. Continue reading