Honey fungus (Armillaria melea)
In the wake of a crackling summer storm a few days ago, a nodding colony of little hats springing from the verdant mosses of a favorite alcove in my wild Lanark gorge... Beaded with rain, the colony is pinkish, dappled with flecks of fallen leaf matter and wonderfully fragrant. Above and behind, the trees and earthbound foliage are lush and blue-green, the soil below dark and perfumy and teeming with life.
A deer trail winds through the rift, and I could walk it blindfolded or in total darkness and know where each and every glacial dropstone, rivulet and old oak makes its home. Full moons rise perfectly in the opening at the far end, and I have been watching them there for years - I can see and touch and smell everything about the place from far away and wherever I happen to be. In my mind's eye, I walked here night after night in recent weeks as I waited for my sister to be released from her suffering and take wing. The flickering light from the old trees was a comfort.
This is a rainforest year in the highlands, and there are toadstool villages and fetching earthy hues everywhere. From their farms, my friends scan the skies for clouds and send up fervent pleas to the universe for enough sunlight to get their hay cut, winnowed and gathered in. Roadsides are waist deep in clover, and bees fill the orchards with their gathering songs. There should be a good crop of McIntosh apples this year, and I am looking forward to it.
This morning, an earthbound dweller in wild places sends up her heartfelt plea. Let this hallowed ground continue to bloom, and may we all be nourished, each and every one.