Green Clovers, Yellow Moons, Purple Mushrooms! Purple Mushrooms?
This particular picture has a humble beginning, not something sought after or expected, but it was forewarned.
A friend of mine, Jeff Windham, is a zealot when it comes to bettering himself. He sets goals for himself that only baffles me. He is the all-around outdoor activity major. Hiking, camping, jogg...(I'm kidding, Jeff) and running. I'm not a runner, but I enjoy a casual hike and some camping. On this particular day, Jeff, my son, and I had set out on a casual hike at the Waterloo Recreational Area in Jackson, Michigan, near Portage Lake. It's considered casual because I tend to take my camera with me, and there are a few stops along the way that cause everyone to stop and wait for me.
About three minutes into the hike, we passed some other hikers that were headed out of the woods. They noticed the camera I was carrying, and then said to be on the lookout for a tiny purple mushroom on the left side of the trail. They said that if we were looking for it, we would see it plain as day, but it's easy to miss because of its size. We departed ways, and then kept a lookout for the infamous purple mushroom. After a little while, we thought we must have missed it, because we hadn't found the fungus in about 3/4 mile.
We stopped looking, but I was still looking for other shots along the trail; stopping here, for a tent worm nest, and there, for a branch with a crazy vine creeping around it. A little farther in, under some newly green foliage, tucked into last autumn's leaves that still blanketed the ground, stood a tiny, purple mushroom. It wasn't at all what I imagined. It appeared to have a layer of slime on it, making it really shiny, and seemingly wet. It was dry to the touch, and the brightest purple in a otherwise brown-coated wood. We spent several minutes in this one spot. Several pictures were taken, in a numerous amount of angles. I used one camera to capture details and another to capture the overall picture of its location and size.
This picture really shows what we saw that day. The miracle of regeneration as winter faded away, and life flooded in. The color alone was a step-stopper. It didn't seem real, and I hadn't ever heard of a bright, slimy, purple mushroom before, but there it was. The top was about the size of a fifty-cent piece, and the color was magnificent. It was a good day to be in the woods, exploring nature while in the company of a good friend and my son. It's a memory that won't fade, and a picture to ensure we never forget.
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Always a pleasure to go for a walk in the woods with you
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