Mushrooms in the Aftermath

A couple of days after Hurricane Irene blew through, the boys and I went up to Redoubt Four which is about a mile from our house. It’s a Revolutionary war lookout point with a tremendous view of the plain level of West Point.

The Hudson River was running well over its normal banks after all of the rain to the north in its watershed.

We were supposed to be up there looking for leaves to examine for the younger boys’ science lesson, but we got distracted when we started finding mushrooms on the forest floor. Check out the variety we observed in a very small area amongst the mess on the forest floor after the storm…they made me think of a poem.

Mushrooms after a Storm

Sentinels stand amongst the knobby toes,

Of squabbling trees that pilfer light,

Bound for realms of rubble strewn beneath,

by winds which stirred branches into fight.

Below the battle scene, shadows slip and slink,

Across impartial moss assailed by the plopping,

Of organic copters, oak tree bombs,

and leafy paratroopers dropping.

Supple helmets weather the beating.

Fungal sentries stand their random posts,

Uniformed in tidy varied hues of earth,

Tranquil among their weary, war-torn hosts.

They remain.

We also found a pretty impressive assortment of lichens, which are a symbiotic relationship between algae and fungus.

Josh was the first to find unexploded ordinance from an oak tree.

But brothers will not be outdone. Si found twins.

The stuff homeschooling moms’ daydreams are made of…nature journaling atop historical ruins in a nearby wood.


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