Fungi/Mushroom Photo Submissions – Extended

Hello Nature-led friends!

Let’s see if I can get this posted before I lose power! We are currently under a winter storm advisory with wind and snow.

My family (including myself) currently have the flu but are slowly recovering. Therefore, I’m extending the deadline for the Fungi/Mushroom Photo submissions.

New due date: Sunday December 4th!

Pictures to be posted the following day on Monday December 5th.

Thank you!

Photo Submissions

Email to: natureledlife@gmail.com

Subject line: Photo Submission for [month] (Multiple months of photos in one email is fine.)

Image: Attached as a .JPEG or .PNG file

Captions each picture: Subject in the photo (if known), State/Providence & Country, Date (optional). Your name as you want it to appear, Your blog link (if you have one)

Feel free to add any interesting notes about a picture. I love interesting stories behind things! Let me know if it’s just for ‘my eyes only’ or if I can share any part of it with the photo.

A Daisy in the Leaves

Daisy in the Leaves By Melanie Reynolds

Daisy would like to remind you to leave the leaves unless they create a safety hazard on your walkway or driveway.

Our human desire to meet perceived expectations of what “a nice yard” looks like often contributes to more harm than good. Your shrubbery does not have to be perfectly coiffed, nor does it need to be wrapped around a perfectly trimmed and unblemished expanse of grass.

We must undo the pragmatism of “overdoing it” when it comes to rakes, leaf blowers, chainsaws, loppers and pruning shears. Save your gas and your oil. Let the decomposers do their job. Let the moths settle into the leaves.

One of my favorite computer file folders is entitled “Moths etc.” with the etcetera being dragonflies, butterflies and bees. Beetles and arachnids get their own file folders because there are so many of them. I’m not very good at identifying moths I know what the green ones are and what a Swallowtail looks like, the others are just described by defining features.

A few of my favorite visitors:

Hawkmoth Moth, Family Sphingidae

Pero occidentalis, Family Geometridae

Green Emerald Geometrid(?), Family Geometridae

Campaea perlata, Family Geometridae

Western Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio rutulus), Family Papilionidae

And finally, this rare sighing on July 23, 2015 at 2:35pm (according to my photo metadata.)

A wayward traveler? Closest match found Purple King Shoemaker (Archaeoprepona demphon) from Mexico or Central America. Thank you for the special visit! Interestingly enough, I’d dreamt about a blue butterfly months before this one appeared on my doorstep. If that isn’t the universe’s way of slapping you with a side of mysterious meaning, I don’t know what qualifies then!

All of these pictures were taking on my front porch which is a popular gathering place for moths and butterflies. The porch is covered with a southeast sun exposure and dappled light through a cluster of mixed trees that provide a rich soft slope of humus and decaying leaves left mostly undisturbed.

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Americans and anyone else who celebrates the day!

While the origin story of the holiday is a myth, the fact remains that for many of us the day has always been about spending time with family and being grateful for what we have. Nature offers a bounty of wonder for those who know where to look. Protect what we have with strength and humility. No mashed potatoes for the nihilists! (<-humor)


Reminder:

November: Fungi/Mushrooms Due: November 30th.

December: Nature at rest Due: December 31st.

Photo Submissions

Email to: natureledlife@gmail.com

Subject line: Photo Submission for [month] (Multiple months of photos in one email is fine.)

Image: Attached as a .JPEG or .PNG file

Captions each picture: Subject in the photo (if known), State/Providence & Country, Date (optional). Your name as you want it to appear, Your blog link (if you have one)

Feel free to add any interesting notes about a picture. I love interesting stories behind things! Let me know if it’s just for ‘my eyes only’ or if I can share any part of it with the photo.

Thank you!

A Short Story: The Evil Rooster

Hello, Nature-Led Friends!

I wrote this short story awhile back and submitted to the King County Library: Terrifying Tales Contest https://kcls.org/terrifyingtales/

While I didn’t win, I’m grateful for the opportunity to dust something off and give it a go. It’s hard for me to submit my stories. They’re never quite perfect in the mind of the writer. I happen to know the woman that won this year’s contest. I haven’t seen her since before the pandemic, but it makes me very happy to know she’s out their writing her own stories! You can read her story and all the other winners and honorable mentions for free at the link above.


Photo by Erik Karits on Pexels.com

The Evil Rooster

By Melanie Reynolds

Somewhere in Colombia…

A man walked into the mountain village cantina very content with himself. He sat down and ordered a drink while watching everyone else around him. Raúl was not a good person. When he saw the happy man at the end of the bar, he believed there must be something worth stealing from him. Raúl offered the happy stranger another drink and then another. The happy stranger was grateful but reluctant.

“If I have another drink, I will not be able to stand!” the stranger said laughing.

“Don’t worry about it.” Raúl said. “Tell me your secret of why you’re so happy and I’ll pay for your bed here tonight.”

“Oh, you are too kind, my friend!” the happy stranger said. “I have no secrets, only the joy of telling stories, but you know, on the path to this village I did see the most beautiful rooster!”

“It was proud and handsome, as a rooster should be. You know, this area is famous for its chicken and eggs.” The man continued. “Even though the sun was fading, the feathers shimmered with an iridescent glow of red, green, and gold. Beautiful! Just beautiful!”

“Wow!” Raúl exclaimed. “Such a healthy bird would make a nice meal or fetch a good price. What did you do with the rooster?” Raúl asked.

“I didn’t do anything with it.” The stranger said raising his hands up in the air. “I simply admired it on the side of the path then came here.”

“It’s still out there?” Raúl asked. “I must go at once and see this beautiful bird for myself!”

Raúl paid for the stranger’s room upstairs and set off to find the rooster.

The moon was bright and Raúl could clearly see the path along the steep ravine by it’s light. On the other side of the path was a thick forest. Raúl went only a little further when the rooster stepped out from behind a giant fern.

It pecked at the pebbles in the path occasionally eyeing Raúl. Raúl slowed down and crouched a bit with a potato sack in one hand.

“Oh my, you are a beautiful bird, aren’t you?” Raúl said to the rooster.

The rooster clucked a bit as if in agreement. The rooster was just as the happy stranger had said with brilliant iridescent feathers that glowed red, green, and gold.

Raúl held the potato sack open with both hands now, but because he was so close, the rooster started to strut away. Raúl decide to leap for the bird to make up the distance, but the rooster evaded him with a short flight farther up the path then cocked its head and eyed Raúl again, this time with a disapproving gleam in its eye that made Raúl angry.

“You think you’re so smart?” Raúl asked the rooster his eyes becoming dangerously greedy. He repositioned the bag and continued to close the distance between them.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” the Rooster said.

Raúl’s straightened up and his eyes got bigger. “Wow!” he said. “A talking rooster! This will surely be worth more than anything I could ever dream of!”

Raúl pounced at the rooster again, but this time it took off into the thick underbrush of the forest. Raúl chased after it, following flashes of iridescent feathers, always shimmering just out of his reach.

Raúl took one last big leap in an effort to catch the rooster and found himself with no ground beneath him. He fell to the rocks at the bottom of the ravine.

The next morning the rooster crowed his morning song. Some men from the village came to collect Raúl’s body from the rocks that were stained with centuries of blood. They carted the body back to the village and put it in a meat grinder to make chicken feed for the plump beautiful hens.

The happy stranger had a lovely breakfast of arepas with eggs and went on his way.


Postscript:

This is an original story inspired by an old Colombian folklore about an “evil chicken”. If the evil chicken is met on a path or road and does a shrill clucking that sounds both chicken and human, then the person should be warned of misfortune or death if they don’t say a prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel and/or turn back from the path. I would like to acknowledge gratitude to my friend Patricia Lezama for sharing her culture with me through our shared love of stories and assistance in translation during research as needed. Thank you, my friend! May I never lead you down a path of ruin.


Reminder: Don’t forget to email me your Mushroom/Fungus pictures due on November 30th! (See previous post for details)