Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Oyster Mushrooms

Last weekend when I went to the farmer's market I fell in love...with a mushroom.  We were standing in line at the mushroom stand and as we were waiting for the person in front of us to finish their purchase I spied it from afar.  Some times when I see something I really like I have to look away.  I think, "No, I couldn't have seen what I just thought I saw."  And then I peak back to look again.  "Oh my gosh!  I think it really is something that is so exquisitely beautiful it gives me butterflies in my stomach!"  And that is what happened last weekend. 

As I scanned all the mushrooms lying on the table before us there was one that was so stunning I couldn't believe our luck!  I started to feel nervous about the person in front of us..."What if they buy MY mushroom?  How could they not notice the treasure that lay right before their eyes?  "What if they decide to buy it at the last second?"  I let out a sigh of relief when they finally walked away and we approached the table.  When George asked me which one I wanted I pretended to non-nonchalantly point out the most incredible mushrooms on the table.  The mushroom vendor put it in a bag for us.

When I got home I was busy with other things and it was several hours later before I had time to find the camera.  When I found the brown bag I thought, "Oh, it probably wasn't as awesome as I had imagined it to be."  But when I pulled it out of the bag I was not disappointed. 

At first I thought it was one giant mushroom, but it was actually two mushrooms back to back.  As I took them apart I marveled at the lovely forms.  As I looked at the brown mushroom I couldn't help but think this mushroom was a masterpiece of asymmetrical balance.  When you looked at it straight down it formed a round mass composed of perfectly spaced stalks that appeared to emerge from the one below.  And each stalk was formed of thin vertical "gill" lines punctuated by a thick brown horizontal "cap" line.  The play between the vertical and horizontal repetition and scale blew me away.  And the effect of so many stalks reaching skyward gave the effect of joyful, repetitious exuberance.

As I flitted about the porch moving things around to get the right light and fretting about aperture and shutter speed, my neighbor John and husband George were forced to listen to me "ooh" and "aah" over our fungi bounty.  But I think they too saw what amazing objects these mushrooms were.  And I even coaxed John into being my hand model.

Shortly after the photo shoot George took the mushrooms in to make dinner.  He made a lovely oyster mushroom pasta meal that was super delicious.  Oh, and I forgot to say that we signed up to be part of a mushroom CSA.  So every week for the rest of the summer we will be getting mushrooms!  If you are interested in signing up you can visit the Probasco Farms facebook page and contact the owner, Alan Susarret.  There is an article about his business here.

I hope you can forgive me for including too many photos in the post but I couldn't help myself.  What's a girl in love supposed to do?


Christina Wald said...

So beautiful! You should do a linocut!

Jessica Jones said...

I was just about to say, I see a mushroom block print in your future, but Christina beat me to it. I love this post so much-- both for the amazing mushroom and for your description of how you felt about it. I have that feeling sometimes about things, and people just look at me in puzzled way when I try to explain how my heart is racing over something spectacular. Either you see the magic or you don't! Different mushrooms for different people.