Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Great Red Uprising



So windy today!  Deep blue sky with big fluffy white clouds flying past... turning into dark, blue-black clouds, with thunderbooms and spritzes of cold raindrops, then sun and blue again!  

I was inspired by Judy, at "Down the Nature Trail" (see my blog list) to hunt for mushrooms today.  We've had a lot of rain and a few warm days... so I had hope, and that's what I did.  I hiked around the paths that we have throughout our woods...I went slowly and studied the ground in all the usual places. I took the path less taken... and the path never taken... I left the path altogether and headed into the piney woods below the house.  There are always mushrooms down there.  I've taken many photos of mushrooms there (check them out)... but there wasn't one to be seen.  The wind blew all the tiny, green maple leaves, the hickory saplings were just unfurling their tiny, fuzzy leaves, the fringe trees' blooms were out - but still green,  ironwood trees leafing out. Pines downed during winter and green, mossy logs abound in the piney woods, but no mushrooms.  

I finally made the full circle back to the studio and  decided to forget the mushroom quest. Instead I sat near our outdoor shower at the studio to draw the beautiful white Mayapple bloom.   As I studied it I happened to glance to the right to see the Great Red Uprising, right there, four feet away... Such power this red mushroom had, to rise up and shove the leaf litter up and away, to make way for its red cap and sturdy white stem.  The cave beneath looked dark and damp.  The red top was broken, possibly a result of the branch falling on it... the color was also "chipped away" in spots and along the edge, showing the white underlayer.  A small black beetle landed on my leg while I was drawing.  I carefully moved him to a leaf so I could see him better.  

Daisy was a constant presence during this field trip. She followed me around the paths, investigating every log and stump. When I sat down to draw, she put her paws on my back and looked over my shoulder...(the muddy pawprints will wash out of the shirt). She tried to sniff that thing I was so interested in, but I distracted her with a stick to chew.  She pounced on Radu (peacefully sleeping beside me) like Cato in The Pink Panther.  

I worked hard to keep Daisy away from it, but just as I finished drawing the mushroom... she sat on it.  


1 comment:

Judy Butler said...

Helen,
Thank you for mentioning me in this post. This drawing is wonderful. I so love your work. Plus the descriptive writing makes the reader feel like we are there with you. I was transported to this red mushroom riseing up and shoving the leaf litter up and away, to make way for its red cap and sturdy white stem.

I am having terrible insomnia from my chemotherapy today—a side effect of the steroids. It is madding but I took advantage of not being sleepy to cruise around your blog. I have been looking for at least 30 minutes at your photos on http://hscorrell.smugmug.com/.

Yes, you have taken a lot of pictures of mushroom. There were so many I have never seen. I am glad you finally found one on your walk. Hope you snapped a photo before Daisy sat on it. I so enjoyed your photo gallery. I don’t remember a post where you mention this website. I think your fans would love to see this.

I had never seen http://www.smugmug.com/. I use Google Picasa, but being on a Mac computer I find their features are more challenging than if you use the PC version. I get a little frustrated. I think I will try smugmug if they have a Mac version of the software.

What kind of camera do you use? The detail is exquisite. Now that it is almost 3:00 AM I am hoping to go to sleep soon but will definitely come back to you photo gallery soon. Hopefully it will not be this time of night!

Take care,
Judy