Well I had big dreams for a Blue Moon Mushroom shrine, or "Art for the Blue Moon!" as I referred to it to the children. But mushroom handling becomes a complex & frenetic process when chaos muppets are participating... in the rain. Collecting fungi for art is not the same as collecting fungi for food. Most of the food fungi are tough, robust beasties. The pretties, not so much. We kept the bears away with shouts; "Ack! Drop that!" "No, don't crush it!" "Aw, look... poor thing." "It's a stalk, where's the cap?" "Oh, no, no, no... I really wanted that one!" & the eternal, "Gah! That's disgusting! Did you put that in your mouth?!?"
The plan was to gather a foundational collection as we searched for the perfect "altar." This went rather well, so my hopes were very high... inflated, perhaps. I figured that after setting up the initial array, we could fan out & gather more & more mushrooms to create what I described as a grand "mushroom bouquet for the Moon."
The altar was perfect. Completely. We found a South-facing "table-top" created by a split tree -- visible from Lady Moon's arc across the sky. Perfect. It even had an overhang to protect from the constant drizzle. Perfect. Confirmation of this altar's meant-to-be-ness was given by the presence of a positively perfect Porcini (Boletus edulis) -- a member of my familiar's clan -- manifesting itself there near the foot of the altar. If that wasn't enough, Little Lad spied a single orb of Wolf's Milk Slime (Lycogala epidendrum) in the moss on the altar base. More than perfect? My head exploded.
|A Mycophile's Moon Shrine.|
Then the rain began falling in earnest & soon it came down in sheets (see photo) & there I was, arranging fungi & herding cats, soaking wet in the forest. Well, not me, but the children = wet. I would have worked much longer, much, much longer, cozy in my Alaskan fisherman's gear, but the wee folk were ill-prepared. Very ill-prepared. Thoroughly saturated, cold & crazed they ran around in the sphagnum pulling up fungi, slipping & tripping on the way to the altar. Shattered gills & stalks everywhere.
Finally, tragedy struck when Little Lad slipped on the moss at the base of the shrine & fell on the Wolf's Milk. The slime was utterly devastated. The Changeling, now wrapped in other people's semi-dry clothing was turning that peculiar red-blue hue that babes get when they are cold. Little Lad was utterly unconsolable, choking down sobs, he hopelessly searched for I don't know what, more slime? So I called it.
Completing the shrine & accepting our limitations, I placed my Moon-doodled (with a plastic fork) Artist's Conk (Ganoderma applantum) & the Blue Moon egg on the altar. We muttered something -- or not -- packed up the baskets, wet clothing & snapped a photo or two. I paused for a moment & lamented not photographing the Wolf's Milk earlier. Then I remembered that it's not about me. It's not about perfection. It's about us, it's about honouring the often imperfect beauty of us All, the Whole. Sometimes, oftentimes, it's the thought that counts.
|Mycophile Moon Shrine with plastic-fork-doodled Artist Conk.|
I think She probably liked it, foibles & all.