|Mushrooms growing in the cracks in our concrete pathway, late November 2011.|
I love these photos not simply because I love looking at pictures of mushrooms (although I do.) I love them because I am fascinated with the many varieties of mushrooms that thrive and die in our backyard. There's always something exciting about going to the backyard and discovering a new and unknown variety of mushroom growing there. This feeling is much like watching a black and white print develop in the chemistry. As many times as I've printed photographs from a negative, the moment that the image first appears in the developer tray is always exciting. It's a moment of promise and of excitement that doesn't last long. Most often, this feeling drains away as I realize that the photograph has faults that can only be corrected by reprinting. In the backyard mushroom watch, this feeling rarely lasts more than a day or two as the mushroom crop is killed off by a heat wave or the stomping feet of an exuberant toddler too fast to deter from a mission of destruction.
|Phallus Impudicus, 2011.|
|Mushrooms growing in my backyard, late November 2011.|
Mushroom hunting embodies a number of qualities I find appealing-- the excitement of a quest and a great reward that comes with a threat of death that can only be overcome with confidence and certain knowledge. I don't know what it says about me that I don't possess any of these qualities, at least not in relation to mushroom hunting. Perhaps it is the fact that I lack them so completely that I find the idea of mushroom hunting appealing. Or maybe I just read too much.