We've found all sorts of things in the garden since we've moved into our house. Shards of this, pieces of that, small toy cars and marbles . But what should be staring up at me from the depths of the potato patch this afternoon?
One might expect a three-inch person when they pull out a mandrake root, but a potato? I've heard of potatoes producing a rare seed or two, but children? And why do you suppose this strange little fellow is frowing? I guess this will remain one of the mysteries of the soil. Another mystery of the soil....mushrooms.
Springing from what appears to be naught and disappearing just as quickly.
I once read an article that hypothesized Mother Nature might just be a giant mushroom with mycelia reaching into every cell of every living thing. There are mushroom that stretch thousands of acres--one in Washington and one in Oregon have already been discovered. Or listen to mycologist Paul Stamets sometime. What is it about science that as it gets more detailed and complex begins to look like magic?
Whether science, magic or both, mushrooms make a great excuse for taking a walk through the woods with my favorite little man.
And as much as he enjoyed spotting mushrooms, it was the salamanders that enthralled him.
Final count: Seventeen mushrooms, seven salamanders, one tired little boy and one incredibly contented mama.