Thursday, January 21, 2010

In the Land of Giant Mushrooms


Common Scaber Stalk/leccinum scabrum

Like Alice in Wonderland, I could feel myself getting smaller with every step I took into the deeps of the Lake Superior forest. The summer of 2009 was particularly lush for Ontario; which is a very nice way of saying, damp, cold, and rainy. I’m not a sun lover and I like cool weather, but last summers grey pall of gloom even got me down. The only upside was the cornucopia of fungal growth.

While walking the coastal trail, between Gargantua Harbour and Warp Bay, we noticed immediately that there were many mushrooms, often beautiful, coming in shades of pale rose pink, flame red, chocolate brown, oh, just think rainbows of colour sprouting up from the leaf duff. The other aspect was size, and while I know I’m not supposed to admit this, sometimes size does matter. It’s hard not to notice a one foot span of pale pink mycelium (that’s fungal flesh, for those of you not into the science of such things) thrusting upwards from the forest floor. And as we wandered deeper into the forest, the mushrooms increased in size and number until I felt like I was in some surreal wonderland where I was shrinking and the forest and all it’s denizens loomed large and larger around me.

As with all things in Lake Superior Park, the experience was something that can only be had in the Land of the Gods.

Image: Coloured pencil on Stonehenge Paper. Prints available at Kaslkaos at Etsy. I’m not sure if I’m ready to let go of the original quite yet. For those of curious about coloured pencil, my Etsy listing includes some extreme close-ups of all those multiple pencil scribbles that make up a section.

PS. Artist/Bloggers following me on twitter @kaslkaos, I’ll be following you also @kaslkaosgallery where I’m trying a little harder to do promo’s. I’ll be tweeting my etsy things, and artsy chart, and continue boring you with bird and weather reports @kaslkaos. Not sure if it’s a good idea to split things up, but I like giving folks a choice.


Jennifer Rose said...

very dreamlike :)

I'm not going to comment on the size mention *snickers* yes I'm a child :p

Michelle (artscapes) said...

I am with you on the weather - I prefer the cool but this summer was gloomy!

The mushrooms are in a dance. I have been so inspired by what you have been up to and how you see the world.

kaslkaos said...

Thanks Jennifer, and go ahead and snicker. I did. My husband does, every time I say, hey, look at that mushroom, and he says, it looks like a *****. He's less coy than I.
Michelle, this year, when the sun finally came out (like in September) i jumped into the sand and made sand angels.
And, aw, gee shucks, that's a high compliment. Although most of these pics feels like hammering on stone. It's somewhere in my hand, but getting it onto paper is a such a struggle. I keep hoping for the day it gets easier. Does it ever happen?

Michelle (artscapes) said...

Nope. Not for me.... :-) Sometimes it gets harder.

kaslkaos said...

Argh!!! Michelle, but on the other hand, misery loves company. The struggle is part of integrity, otherwise we would stay with what is known, routine and easy.

The Empty Envelope said...

I love this! There is something intense and magical about finding moss and mushrooms in the deep forest. Thank you for bringing that to us!

kaslkaos said...

Thank you, and you're welcome. It's good to be reminded of the magic where we find it.


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