These dinner plate sized mushrooms are growing bigger all the time. The last time mushrooms like this grew on the Paper Birch in the side yard, the branch came down in a snowstorm.
I know our Paper Birch and old and dying. Each year the leaves get small and less grow. Branches fall throughout the seasons, most are partially if not completely rotted.
But she’s still a glorious tree, holding her arms up in a welcoming hug to anyone who comes up the driveway.
I collect the smaller branches she drops for kindling, but this years we’re also burning the wood from the big branch that came down last winter. It’s piled in the woodshed with the rest of the wood that we get delivered.
The birch is easy to recognize because of the white bark. It’s good to use for starting the fires, the papery bark catches and burns like newspaper. But there is one split piece I keep putting at the bottom of the pile.
The wood is wavy like Rapunzel’s hair or the wind on water. It’s a cross section of the layers of the earth, and a mountain range.
I don’ t know what makes a tree’s wood do this. It’s probably not a sign of a healthy tree. But it is beautiful to me.
As beautiful as the dinner plate mushrooms that are an indication of decaying wood.