Do you have a nickname that tells a little bit about you; a descriptive moniker like Ol’ Blue Eyes (Frank Sinatra), Babe Ruth, Ringo Starr, Stonewall Jackson, or Billy the Kid? I have one that was given to me by an online friend. After seeing many pictures of mushrooms I'd posted, she called me The Mushroom Lady. I am fascinated by these little bits of nature that through sheer determination push themselves up through the ground. Every time I find a mushroom I must take a picture of it. It doesn’t matter that I already have a folder full of them. The ones in the folder are not this one.
When you see those little umbrella-shaped mushrooms poking out of the ground you might not know it’s hiding a big secret. Most of the cells of the fungus actually stay underground where they form a long, wide net of cells something like plant roots. The underground nets of cells can live a very long time. When the cells mature enough, the mushroom, which is the fleshy, fruiting body, pushes through the ground’s surface.
The gills on the underside produce tiny spores that with the help of the wind spread across the ground so new mushrooms can grow. Mushrooms are a little mysterious too, the wild ones like to grow by moonlight. Unlike us they really don’t need sunlight to grow and be healthy.
I’m fascinated by their shapes and colors. I’m more drawn to earthy colors instead of pastels or bright tones. I love rich browns, golds, rusty reds, and cream.
And don’t get me started about the textures of mushrooms. They are simply amazing!
I recently read an article about taking pictures of mushrooms; how to look for good light, unusual shapes, and different perspectives. The article also recommended that the mushroom and the area around it be cleaned up. It said the dirt needed to be brushed off and the debris removed. Clean up the mushroom? Not me, I prefer them dirt and all. I have been known to remove leaves, twigs, or a blade of grass that blocks the view, but that’s about it. The bits of dirt on top tell me the story. A story of determination, tenacity, and strength. I look at the frail stems of some mushrooms and wonder how they ever broke through the earth.
When I find myself wanting to stay hidden from life’s problems and fears, I think of the tiny mushrooms who push through the earth and I know that I should follow their example. That I don’t need to run or hide. That I can be strong. That the struggle will bring new growth.
Sometimes nicknames can be harmful and hurtful, but I don’t mind mine. The Mushroom Lady suits me just fine. I’m really quite relieved though that she didn’t dub me the Toadstool Lady. That’s doesn’t sound near as nice. How about you? Do you have a descriptive nickname or do you know someone with a fun nickname? You know if there’s something you are passionate about whether it’s photography or something different, you can always give yourself a nickname. Maybe you could be The Strawberry Lady or The Seeker of Light or The Flower Queen or Fish Girl. Oh wait, that last one is already taken by our faithful follower, Pam. (Hi, Pam, how’s the fishin’?)
Anyway, I guarantee that a fun nickname will make you smile every time you think of it! Why don’t you share your nickname below and then add a picture to the Focusing On Life flickr page to illustrate it. I would enjoy hearing from you.
Until next time, that’s all from
The Mushroom Lady!