An Early Christmas Grotto

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Despite the gloomy weather, Stella and I forced ourselves out of the house today for our weekend exercise. After half hour's drive into the countryside, we parked up at the top of a pine woodland, where, within minutes of leaving the car, we were both overjoyed that we had mustered the needed willpower to leave the house.  

Walking down the woodland path, something bright caught our eyes from a small hollow in a bank below a pine tree. We had to step into a small ditch to get in closer to our find, but we were well and truly rewarded for the slight inconvenience. For, parting its curtain of pine branches, we found ourselves peering into a little magical Christmas grotto, festooned with the most glorious Amanita muscaria mushrooms I have ever seen!

"What have we here then?"

Seeing these bejewelled beauties through the canopy of pine needles reminded me of an old article I wrote on the tradition of decorating Christmas trees with imitation Amanita muscaria mushrooms. Upon our return home, I dug out the old manuscript of this article. Written many moons ago, the thing needs a good, solid polish, but I can announce that my next project will be to publish my short illustrated essay - Santa was a Shaman! 

I do love they way nature walks inspire and get the creative juice flowing :)