Saturday, February 26, 2011

Francis King Rainforest and Fungus Photo Tour: Lush!

Welcome to Francis King Park, a lush tropic rainforest visited just before the snowfall. It is nearby, wheelchair accessible (kinda) with boardwalks and most of all: verdant views.

This is where I would stand and mumble, “My name is Beth, and I….am a camera whore.” Yes, it is an addition, more than a hobby, I want to see what can’t be seen. And relish in what can. This is a forest ALIVE in winter: rivers of green running up trees.
I like green. Along the wheeling path the planners even had a hut to rest out of the rain. It too had been taken back by the forest, as spores and moss can’t tell the difference between fallen logs and these nice cut up logs and that you nail together for them to cling to. It is scenic plus a reminder to not stay and stare TOO long. Here, a rolling wheelchair grows no moss, cause everything else does!

We have a friend who likes fungi, and personally, I would like to know more about the fungi we find (so please help identify if you know – moss I think I can spot!). So whenever Linda or I see Fungi in the rainforest, we get excited to take some photos (unlike the other 92 photos we took on this trip). I have the camera with macro and most important: a complete rotational swivel screen to help me shoot pictures in macro upside down while seeing and aiming the camera. It is the Canon’s wheelchair friendly digital camera (this ‘old’ $299 camera costs over $600 now if you can find it, it is that popular).

As we wheeled and walked and took pictures, the sun would come and go, adding and taking away colours. One stump looked like something out of a Lovecraft or William Hope Hodgson’s story: where a ship, or forest camp, lulled in doldrums, has shambling human outlines in the fog, tinted green with soft and spongy gaits, saying, “Too late for us, too late.”
The truth is, the very thing that we fear, is often the most beautiful (and I fear fungi, a little). But how can I fear this, which was on the stump I was taking pictures of earlier: they are sculptures, mixing fractals with marble works in miniature.
One tree had two different colored growths, which ran up and down it like steps, or lost colonies, alien ones, which we can barely visit or glimpse.
Down around the other side of the tree, Linda was able to carefully step off the trail to capture some of the overlooked fungi, a colony unattached to a tree.
Here it reminds me of glass, blown glass from Venice, or the kind you have in vases and plates, with the candy crackled edges.
Here is what that looks from above, a fungi most people would have walked by. It is smaller than a hand, and easy to miss when looking up, unaware that sometimes, it pays to look at things from a different viewpoint, and stop for a closer peek.
If we ever find wild mushrooms, you will be the first to know.


mental mosaic said...

I can just smell the air from looking at your photos. This post makes me yearn for the PNW... sigh! So lush, so lovely, and oooh, how I miss that green!

Interesting how that camera has gone up in price. Rare for a digital.

I was a secretary once for a man who knew so much about mushrooms that we'd get calls from the ER from time to time. What freaked me out was how people would sometimes touch something poisonous, then pick something edible and accidentally ingest the bad stuff that way.

Still, mushrooms are so fun to look at. I am still enchanted by fairy circles, y'know?

Kate J said...

What beautiful pictures. Because I work at a botanic garden I do know some people who are experts on fungi... so if I get to see them this week I'll ask if they can identify the ones in your photos. The shapes and colours are amazing!
Love & peace.

Paula said...


Thank you so much for stopping by the Polaroid Project. The answer to your question is that in Texas, yes it time to start planting things. Peppers, Tomatoes, and herbs are going into the garden this afternoon.

I love the pictures you posted of the Mushrooms and the perspective you had on them. I think most people rarely look from the bottom up.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Thanks, I don't think they are wild mushrooms, so I'd love to know what they are.

wendryn said...

Wow - beautiful pictures!

I'm really glad you got out somewhere beautiful before the snow dumped - good memories to hold!

I don't have a clue what kind of fungi they are, but they are very nice to look at. :)

Bonnie said...

They look like what we in the Midwest would call a shelf or bracket fungi.

My dad once found one so big and sturdy he sat on it and used it for a tree stand.

Apparently there is a variety of shelf fungus called 'chicken of the woods'. The name amuses me muchly. Wikipedia had a beautiful photo of one called 'Turkey Tail'.

Your fungi are really colorful, and the phots are just beautiful. Thanks for taking the time to get such great photos.

JaneB said...

What a wonderful place to visit. Glad you got out and about!

Drake said...

Yay! Magik mushrooms :P

I have to agree, photography is really fun, especially if you can find a good subject :D.

You are really good with "micro" photography! I love the mushroom pics :D

cheryl g said...

Lush is the perfect descriptor for the park. It is so green and alive. The photographs are beautiful. The ones of the fungi are amazing!

Baba Yaga said...

One of your gifts is that of really *looking* at the world. It's not so common. And that top-most photo is so very You - skeleanimals rug and all. (But why only one glove? Greater ease of wheeling? I am easily distracted by minor details.)

Being able to photograph what you look at and end with more than a blur is somewhat impressive, too.

Elizabeth McClung said...

I have the Canon Powershot A630 - I did a lot of research, it was highly reviewed and actually with 8.0 mega pixels, still outperformed next years model with 10 megapixels. It was also the least expensive camera that was not an SLR with the largest swivel display. I got it for $179, and now, I just checked, it starts at $800 - the price went up another $200 since I lost it at Comi-Con, and found it again.

Baba Yaga: I have some blurry too, the advangage of the digital is that I can take 1,000 pictures and don't have to pay for developing them - go go 21st century! The one glove is so I have better control to push down the camera button, and to swivel the view display.

fridawrites said...

Well, I don't know anything about fungi, but I do know that you guys are great at photography. Rain forest--I wish I were there.

Raccoon said...

Bright green. Except for the oranges and the gray sky.

I like the green. Not so much the gray sky.

Some great pictures.

SharonMV said...

Dear Beth,
I like the picture of you with a big smile. The moss is lovely and so green and so soft. The fungi pictures are amazing. When I lived in the redwoods, I loved going out for walks in the winter and looking at all the moss, mushrooms & fungi. And in the spring all the ferns.


william Peace said...

Awesome photos. You look so happy! I have not commented on your blog in a while but remain a faithful reader.

Vanessa said...

Ooohhh I love the super close ups! Nice pics! I'm glad you got to get out. :D