Sunday, October 16, 2011

Off the Path

Everything is wet.

The bright yellow, red and green leaves against the black branches have a psychedelic crispness. The grasses and shrubs brush against our legs and drops splash against us as we push our way along narrow paths winding their way along the river.

It has been raining daily, and we piled into the car to check on one of our mushroom spots.
We are looking for Shaggy Parasols.
And we find – nothing. The pine needles lay wet and undisturbed.

We wander on, looking for nothing in particular.

We find a white, branching fungus growing like tiny candelabra out of a fallen cottonwood logs.

We walk past giant shelf mushrooms, glistening a beautiful red.

We see gray fungus reminiscent of coral.

From one log to the next we have wandered farther and farther from the official walking trail.  The ferns are all flattened and suddenly we feel that we have strayed a bit too far.  I turn on one of the many forked paths and realize that I am standing next to a giant tree that not to long ago had been used by something as a scratching post and that I am standing in the middle of the biggest pile of bear poop I have ever seen.  Adam and I say almost simultaneously: "Um, maybe we should head back to the trail."

We stop to admire a soft, pink and almost purple fungus that is pushing out between the bark and wood of yet another downed cottonwood log.

The clouds hang heavy and low, but the sun in shining the way it can only shine in the mountains.

Two bucks scamper out of sight.

My skirt has dark brown patches, Adam's toes are damp, Ivory's knees tell of slips and falls, Sylvans socks are no longer dry and our mushroom collecting bag is empty but we're filled with beauty and adventure and climb back into our car to finish our weekend errands.

1 comment:

  1. It's wonderful that you not only live surrounded by the beauty of nature, but you actually make it a part of your lives. Although, I did get a little knot in my stomach as I read about you walking far from the trail and finding evidence of bears having been there shortly before you got there.
    Your descriptions are beautiful.