Thursday, February 11, 2010

Of forest fungi and Love at First Sight


Out of rain-soaked, black earth this plate-sized mushroom popped in a wooded part of a river trail. I have no idea if it's edible, psychotropic or poisonous since I'm neither a mycologist nor a hunter-gatherer of wild 'shrooms.

I just like its substantial presence, porcelain-like cap and those orangey gills. And I thought it would be fun to follow the toadstools of my last post.
It's almost Valentine's Day and folks would be better off not serving their lovers a platter-full of wild mushrooms, unless it's a fatal attraction. However there are two blogs where you can get yourself a swoon-filled serving of romance.


Karen Amanda Hooper is celebrating Loveapalooza week with prizes. And Courtney Reese is featuring Love At First Sight Blogfest on Sunday. I've signed up on both widgets and encourage you to, too. Karen seeks a love quote or crush, while Courtney wants scenes of that magic moment.
As prep for this, here's a peek into one of my favorite books, AWAY by Jane Urquhart. In this story, the women of a certain family have always lived in northern latitudes near icy waters and are haunted by the tale of an ancestor who lost her heart and her name to a dying sailor. She had pulled him from the wreckage of a ship--from whiskey barrels, bobbing silver teapots and cabbages. Here are a few of Ms. Urquhart's eloquent words:
Clearing a path through cabbages and teapots, she had dragged her treasure up onto the beach to let it dry in the sun. She had put her two warm hands on either side of his cool face and ran her thumbs along the bones above his eyes, the delicate skin of his eyelids. She traced his collarbones with her fingers and tentatively touched the soft hair on his belly. Disturbed by the chill of the sea that had enveloped his body, she lay down beside him on the beach, loosened her long red hair across his shirt, and placed her head on his chest. He stirred as she did this and spoke the word "Moira" once again. When she dropped her arm lightly across his narrow hips a cold hand came up to meet hers. The sun rose higher in the sky, drying her skirt, his trousers, causing the silver vessels to wax radiant.
*sigh* Is that not gorgeously written?

25 comments:

Tamika: said...

I love the picture and the passage- beautiful!

Yvonne said...

Yes, gorgeous.

Catherine Denton said...

Mushrooms intrigue me. Maybe it's due to all the fairy tales but I'm enamored with them. Thanks for sharing your pictures. And congrats on the 150 followers!
Winged Writer

Char said...

beautiful - i've never read that book, now i want to.

jdcoughlin said...

That is a beautiful passage, and a beautiful photograph. Not something you would think to put together, but they certainly compliment each other, delicately and beautifully.

Davin Malasarn said...

That's a beautiful photo and description, Tricia. In my novel, I compare this temple in the mountains to a patch of mushrooms growing on the jungle floor. I've always loved that, and I love how strange mushrooms can look, and yet they are so natural.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Tamika and Yvonne: Glad you liked.

Catherine: I once went on a mushroom hunt with a club. I was there as a reporter (no test eating for me). I loved tramping through the woods, finding the lovely mushrooms and seeing the people fill their baskets.

Char: It is a haunting story.

JD: Thank you. I just weave together whatever my life touches, I guess.

Davin: Ooooo, I like that comparison. Mushrooms are mysterious, and I love how they emerge in hidden places.

Donna said...

Fatal attraction . . . that's the perfect way to transition from the strange, possibly poisonous, mushroom to love, love, love . . .

Bish Denham said...

Lovely, lovely, lovely. I am cold and wet and attracted.

Wen Prior said...

Ooh that is pretty. (the passage and the 'shroom!)

Jemi Fraser said...

Great mushroom! At first sight I actually thought it was a skull! Disclaimer: I'm not wearing my contacts at the moment and I really, really need them :)

VR Barkowski said...

Amazing photo, Tricia, and what a gorgeous passage! Lush, beautiful writing, evocative and lyrical, completely unburdened of excess adverbs and adjectives - unlike my description. :)

And thank you for the reminder of Courtney's Love at First Sight Blog Fest. I nearly forgot. Best go do a little post of my own.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Donna: Well I guess it worked anyway. :)

Bish: Yes, it's a cold scene but lush, somehow.

Thanks, Wen (abbreviated) ;) I like it!

Jemi: Ha! That's a good one, and maybe a reason not to nibble on that 'shroom.

VR: I know! That scene takes my breath away. And, woo-hoo, I guess I will see you Sunday.

Tabitha Bird said...

Beautiful words Tricia.

Angela said...

Very lovely! And great photo, too.

Julie Dao said...

Oh I love that passage! I need to read one of Ms. Urquhart's books. Gorgeous words and photos as always, and thank you for sharing the news on the contests!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Tab & Angela & Julie: Thank you so much, my friends!

storyqueen said...

Way gorgeous.

I love to read stuff like this, even though it makes me feel like a bit of a slog, you know?

People who can create beautiful prose in an unforced sounding way are writers I admire greatly.

(How's the book coming? I can't wait to read your snippet on the love at first sight blogfest!)

Shelley

Lisa and Laura said...

Oh, that excerpt is just gorgeous. Our voice and style isn't nearly so poetic, but I love reading books where the author has given so much attention to every single word. It's like poetry.

Jackee said...

Truffles and shipwrecked love stories! Ahh, romance doesn't get any better than that. Well, maybe add some chocolate... :)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Shelley: I hear you. I've read a few gorgeous things lately, and when I look at my stuff, I cringe. As for the fest, I am putting something up but not from the current work (which is going slow). I realize none of my scenes really fit love at first sight, so I pulled something from a shelved novel that may be the closest I've got.

LiLa: It is poetic, isn't it? I love the flow of her words.

Jackee: Always chocolate!

PJ Hoover said...

I love the mushroom and LOVE that you took a picture of it! We found one out front yesterday but it's nowhere near as cool as yours :)
Shroom envy?

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

PJ: 'shroom envy! I love it. :D

Robyn Campbell said...

Lovely pics and lovely piece. *double sigh*

I'm unplugging this week. I shall finish everything so I can query the 22nd. If I don't lose my nerve. *double gulp*

Dang, everything is double that, double this with me today.

Anyway, I'll see you when I return.
On the flip side. *double grin*

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Hi there, Robyn! I'm glad I could give you something sigh worthy. May your unplug week and querying go smoothly. I'm sure you've done all the prep work, so it's time to take the plunge. Big breath!