Maw Shroom and the Sprouts by Mike Oxley

The results of a brief (or briefless) encounter with a fun guy

Guindon Park, Cornwall, Ontario, Canada
October 9, 2011
Please take a moment to read the whole story. It’s an eye opener!

I have frequently mentioned that the trails at the park have been closed since the late spring, much to my chagrin, and nobody seems to know why. Having missed a whole summer and most of the autumn for photography opportunities, I decided to be reckless and wander the trails for a bit. Glancing over my shoulder occasionally, on the lookout for The Authorities, of course.

The Trails

Now I know the reason why. It would appear that The Government has been conducting clandestine genetic research into organic reproduction. Not only has it resulted in such a cute little family as shown above, but, dare I say it?
Organic WIllies, too!

How it was done, using PSE 9.

Here’s the original.

This was given a duplicate layer.

I created two new blank files, making sure the size and pixel dimensions were the same as the original. I used the elliptical marquee tool at 20 px feathering and selected the eye of this lovely lady,

and copied it, used the same tool to select an area into both of the blank files where I pasted the eyes. On one of the blank files, I flipped the eye horizontally, then copied it again and pasted it into a selected area in the other blank file. That way there were two eyes in different orientations.

The lips are courtesy of Lee Oskar, world famous harmonica player,

and the same copying and pasting techniques were applied. Now I had three images on the same blank file.

After that, it was a simple matter of choosing which one I wanted to go where on the wee mushroom, copying and pasting them into place. A little judicious work to tidy things up around the eyes and mouth a little with the eraser tool and opacity (that’s why a duplicate later was made) and the layers were flattened. The whole was cropped a little (about an inch all round), the lighting adjusted to my taste and a bit of sharpening applied.

The original techie specs:
Sony Alpha 700, Sigma 28 to 300, at 300 mm
iso 100, spot metered, F6.3, 1/10 second

In love with Ma Nature! Always have been, always will be. Let’s keep her safe, eh?

View Full Profile


  • Leslie van de Ligt
    Leslie van de ...over 3 years ago

    Oh Mike what if Maw was wanted or something ,,,,,,,, you need to be careful of where you go. She’s probably the leader of that gang of Organic Willies you saw !! hehehehe Oh I needed a chuckle Mike WELL DONE and THANK YOU for me A FAVE :>)) Leslie

  • You are so very welcome, Leslie! Thank you for your very kind words and the fave, too! I’m glad you enjoyed this wee bit of foolishness! I was wondering what to do with the Organic Willies and it suddenly came to me (so to speak) that the trails could be closed due to Gummint Research. Lots of time on my hands yesterday…… :o)

    – Mike Oxley

  • Fred Mitchell
    Fred Mitchellover 3 years ago

    Excellent story. Now it is in print you can be charged with libel of the authorities.

  • Perhaps, Fred, but the sign said “Trail Closed” not “Trails Closed”, so I had an excuse if nabbed. Plus I think the authorities may have a little explaining to do….

    – Mike Oxley

  • Fred Mitchell
    Fred Mitchellover 3 years ago

    I’ve realised why it was closed. The authorities were afraid people would be devoured by these nasties, and they would have to explain why they let people into danger.

  • That’s as good an excuse as any, I guess. I heard, believe it or not, that someone had spotted a bear there, hence the closing of the trail. Knowing the avid naturalists in this area, it was probably a big black dog…..or a silhouette of a tree trunk.

    – Mike Oxley

  • LimbozArt
    LimbozArtover 3 years ago

    Way too cute…lovely story. Keep out of MAW’s way! LOL

  • Many, many thanks, Louise! She was just a wee sweetie, looking after the little ones. No danger! :o)

    – Mike Oxley

  • deb cole
    deb coleover 3 years ago

    I was going to leave a long, drawn out comment but I think I’ll just say “nicely done!”

  • Much appreciated, Deb. On a more serious note, it was great to get back along the trails, legally or not. Many cool things found, including a tiny Wood Frog, one I’d never seen before, and quite a few interesting fungi. All the ponds were dry, though, which was more than a little disappointing.

    – Mike Oxley

  • Guendalyn
    Guendalynover 3 years ago


  • Many, many thanks, Guendalyn, and I greatly appreciate the fave, too, my friend! THe things you find in the woods! :o)

    – Mike Oxley

  • twistwashere
    twistwashereover 3 years ago

    something I would like to think maybe a future reference point for me , growin shrooomz on tree branches. I am also hopeless with no go areas.

  • Many, many thanks and I greatly appreciate the fave, too! Seeing that sign all summer and autumn really ticked me off, so I actually ventured in quite a few times, in spite of the huge clouds of mosquitos that followed me around eagerly. My excuse, if nabbed by the Trail Trolls, was that the sign said “Trail Closed” and not “Trails Closed". There are three leading from that point.
    As far as cultivating shroomz, this may help fulfil your dreams. Cheers!

    – Mike Oxley

  • Elfriede Fulda
    Elfriede Fuldaover 3 years ago

    Wow, I so enjoyed this, awesome images, thank you Mike ! Great shade of lipstick on that first little shroom :-))))

  • Thanks so very much, Elfie, and many thanks for the “fave”, too! I had a wee bit of fun putting this one together. Something to do during that nasty weather we had on Friday….

    – Mike Oxley

  • hampshirelady
    hampshireladyover 3 years ago

    That is the prettiest Shroom I have ever seen!! Love this Mike – and your imagination! xx

  • patcheah
    patcheahover 3 years ago

    Creative and imaginative ,Mike! I am a bit worried now whenever I go to the forest,all these living creatures eyeing me….

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

10%off for joining

the Redbubble mailing list

Receive exclusive deals and awesome artist news and content right to your inbox. Free for your convenience.