What got me interested in Fungi? This mushroom.

Hygrocybe cuspidata345td

Literally, this species of mushroom caused my interest in mycology.

Allow me to explain.

Once when I was 12 years old, I was hiking by myself in a rather large Florida forest, I did this a lot, I always felt a draw to nature. But this time I went further than usual, and I got seriously lost. A few hours into being lost, I  found myself at the edge of a cypress swamp, which I began to wade through quickly and fearfully(I thought home was maybe on the other side of the swamp).

After wading through the knee-deep dark water for 10 minutes or so, and enduring some intense panic and over-thinking I spotted a little area of higher land where some different trees were growing. I waded over to the little island and climbed up on it only to notice there was a large patch of orange, shiny, seemingly glowing mushrooms. I was in awe of their vivid beauty.. enthralled even. The way the evening light came from the horizon, beamed through the trees and landed on their orange caps… It’s the first time nature herself struck me this way, with a depth and mystery I still can’t English.

I eventually unlocked my gaze and looked out beyond the small island, and could see a house in the distance. The house turned out to be on the same road I lived on. So I went home and started studying Fungi!

I later found out, those mushrooms were Hygrocybe cuspidata, the same mushroom I photographed above.

“To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.” -Lao Tzu


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