It plopped right in front of me, a blump of wet snow.
It fell from a maple branch pocking the snow at my feet, making it impossible to distinguish it from the footprints of small animals. There will be little to see in the woods this afternoon I thought disappointed. I came to the woods to find animal tracks in the fresh snow.
Instead, I found a telephone post in the woods.
That’s what I thought until I followed the Dot to Dot woodpecker holes, up the pole and saw it was a pine tree.
It twisted slightly toward the top, otherwise, it was a telephone pole. Naked of bark, bare of branches, the right circumference, texture, and color. I looked more than once just to be sure. It seemed a trick. It made more sense that it was a tree, but still, it looked more like a pole. As long as I didn’t look up too high.
That pine tree pole opened my eyes. Until then I was just walking through the woods disappointed, not seeing the unexpected.
Now I had hope again. I wanted the magic, the wonder. So I ducked under every arched tree and stepped through the awkward shapes made by the wildly thick grapevines, hoping for Narnia.
And then the raven flew over bringing magic as they do, silently patrolling the sky above us.
It was after that I saw the turkey tail mushrooms. Surrounded by a desert of snow, growing on the stump of a dead tree, they were lushly sprouting a carpet of bright green moss.
The mushrooms grew one above the other, cantilevered so the bottom of one was the roof of the one below it. In my mind I wandered in, the moss soft and warm on my bare feet. The stalactite ceiling holding my gaze with its folds and crevasses. But surely a spider, maybe even a wolf spider, lives in the dark hole that is an entrance into the dead tree.
And here I am on her luxurious patio.
So I took a picture, grateful not to be an insect. Then I call to the dogs and we headed home with stories to tell.