Fungi Wood

Jason // September 29 // 0 Comments

The small quarry wood doesn’t have a name. Not one that I know anyhow, and I haven’t heard a name for it during my wanders there. This morning it was fungi wood, or to give it it’s show name ‘wood of the red ones’ in honour of the fly agarics that were bullnosing their way from the damp earth.

Two so far, both far from ripe with one being the size of a tennis ball the other more a ping pong contender. Both deep scarlet orange red dressed in white flakey dots.

The roe deer spotted me first, I was noising my way through in my uncomfortable wellies and very much in my own head telling myself stories that were pure fiction. A doe a think, or a buck without antlers. She dashed across the path maybe 40 yards ahead and dipped her way into the thicket of fallen willow. The last I saw of her was a white bottom flicking through the ramble tangle.

There were a few photos to catch of the quarry face. Although I couldn’t put my intention into words I did have something certain in mind. The scene invoked a memory of old pastoral emotions within me. Thoughts that I can smell easier than name, that essence of fox and badger trails leading into darker places where I can never see, let alone know and name.

I rested a while as the rain pattered on the misted gorse and stained the quarry face a darker shade of pale, and tried to find the words the place conjured. Maybe there are no words, perhaps those words have not yet been wrote, they could yet still be of the underworld realms. They touched me though and, as I sat in the rumble of my mind a pheasant caught my eye. I thought he was injured or ill and decided to leave him in peace at least until I’d gathered my choices into one place.

Slowly I saw him dip his head down so that his eyes were hidden behind a moss strewn twig. Perhaps it was his equivalent of burying his head in the sand as his rufous plumage still sang out as the brightest thing in my world. Maybe in the jungles of Indo China he would blend but not in this still greening scrubby corner of his adopted home.

I turned my attention from him onto two toadstools that curtseyed on a nearby dead limb and as I quietly trod the grass I caught sight of him gingerly making his way from his hiding place. On reaching a safe distance he broke into a run and headed directly away from me into the small fracture of woodland edge that bounded the place.

The two toadstools played nice though. I caught my favourite photo without any fuss. Their interaction was sublime and spoke in that otherworldly language that I know only in dreams.

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About the Author Jason

Jason follows his lifelong vocation as a countryside photographer who tries to catch the spirit of the places he visits. After decades working as a professional editorial photographer he now focuses much of his time on conceptual fine art photography, visual storytelling and in aiding others to follow their creative calling.

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