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Time for Mushrooms!

(This post was written on November 19th, 2016, but I never got to post it. Since we’re at that time of year again I guess it’s ok to share it now, better late than never!)

It’s the time of year for mushrooms! Whether you like to forage to eat (not me) or just admire (me), they are popping up everywhere. Now that we’ve had some rains and the ground is getting cold and soggy…I’m seeing them so much more.

Huge old Sycamore (Maple) I admire.

Huge old Sycamore (Maple) I admire.

At the top of the lane I like to walk up most days, there’s an especially old huge Sycamore tree I admire. At it’s base are what I think are three different kinds of mushrooms. I tried to go up to draw them the other day but got side tracked with the Brown Trout painting adventure. So this time I went right to them and found a good seat on one of the huge roots.

Drawing with mittens on!

Drawing with mittens on!

It was really cold just sitting there so I had to do the entire drawing wearing my mittens! I think I did pretty well with that in mind. Also to save time I did not do a pencil sketch first but drew directly with the permanent ink pen. That went ok too!

Look at all these lovely mushrooms!

Look at all these lovely mushrooms!

I love this new (to me) type of mushroom, I like imagining how the top split apart as it grew and expanded, kind of like how the continents split apart a long time ago! Each crispy looking brown shell part tops a bit of the mushroom flesh, making a great three dimensional subject to study.

Side view of one mushroom.

Side view of one mushroom.

Above shows the side view of one mushroom, you can really see the texture on it’s cap and see it’s ring around the stem like a little collar!

Below you can see how I progressed along, feet getting colder all the time.

My drawing is getting there, just one more mushroom!

My drawing is getting there, just one more mushroom!

I was definitely feeling the cold chill by now, but I really wanted to add one more mushroom behind these.

Mushrooms, brown permanent ink

Mushrooms, brown permanent ink

This is how far I got in the field, I got that last mushroom in! Now when I have time, I’ll add some more details of leaves and grasses…digging into the dark areas a bit. Then I’d really like to add the reddish brown color of the mushrooms using watercolor. We’ll see if I get that far.

Beautiful, I'm guessing at "Shaggy pholiota?

Beautiful, I’m guessing at “Shaggy pholiota?

Above is a picture of another mushroom cluster growing under that tree, I’m guessing it’s “Shaggy pholiota” (totally guessing from my small field guide!). It was so wonderful looking in it’s neat little cluster that dispite being very chilled to the bone, I decided to do a quick pencil sketch.

Very quick pencil sketch of mushrooms.

Very quick pencil sketch of mushrooms.

This also was done wearing mittens, it was really hard to do like that and to be very cold at the same time! But maybe I can find time to do up a little watercolor study with it? I loved the texture of these mushrooms, shaggy on top and stem.

Here you can see them growing in the root area.

Here you can see them growing in the root area.

Here’s a picture of the cluster growing in the root area, and I believe those on the root below it are more mature individuals.

A bright "Yellow Brain Fungus"

A bright “Yellow Brain Fungus”, (Tremella mesenterica)

This Yellow Brain Fungus I found growing on a stick broken off of the tree. The branch was heavily damp and covered with lichens and dead leaves. When I turned the stick to look at all it’s sides, the fungus flopped about a bit; it was so cool! I laid it back down on the ground, hoping to observe it each time I come back.

Do you see any mushrooms growing where you live? Post me a comment about them and where you are located, you don’t have to know what kind they are, I usually don’t know them either!


8 comments to Time for Mushrooms!

  • Rochelle Levesque

    Beautiful, Mary!!! I forgot about your blog. Always enjoy it. I do believe it is through your blog that we became friends, and for that, I am delighted. I just love your work and your narratives. Thanks for bringing me to your enchanted world with your art!

  • Ed Saugstad

    Hi Mary – I’m no expert on fungi, but from some field guides I’ve seen, the first ones you sketched look a bit like Chlorophyllum rhacodes – see
    Ed S.

  • C-Marie

    I love how you take such simple things and make beautiful drawings from them! Well done!
    God bless, C-Marie

  • Len Smith

    like you I don’t know what I see when I am out and about it would be nice to learn I guess. I fear to pick them to eat just in case. But there is also the thought in my head that nature made them grow there so that is where they belong and do I really want to pick them to eat just for the sake of it when I have plenty of other food to eat? No there are best left to enjoy by photographing or painting which you do so well

  • well then I’m extra thankful for my blog! I’m so glad you enjoy my posts! I’ve not done too many nature painting studies lately, been busy with illustrations, but hope to share more enchanting things in the future.

  • hi Ed, I think that’s it too! I hope I get time to put a little watercolor on it sometime. I really like this kind of mushroom for it’s textures!

  • Hi C-Marie! Thank you so much! I love looking at small things along the ground where you don’t see them. Mushrooms are fun because they just pop up and are so different from each other.

  • Hi Len! Though I like mushrooms to eat, I never ever have the desire to learn to forage for them in the wild. I love capturing them with my camera though! Mushrooms feature in my little children’s book I’m working on, got to get it done!

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