We launched leggings! Step into a world of individuality.

did I imagine it?

The other night, driving home from visiting my husband in hospital (he’s back home now), and being preoccupied as well as exhausted (now in my 5th year of chronic fatigue following swine flu), I thought I saw….

a nest of yellow mushrooms on the verge

archetypal mushrooms, curved hemispheric caps with glimpses of gills, some big, some small, little goldilocks mushrooms, some just right

and strikingly yellow, highlighter yellow, glowing and luminous in the afternoon sun, the delicate narrow stems also yellow, translucent

This was at a junction

I had hardly formed the thought to stop to photograph them when I dismissed it as, I’m too tired, it’s too hard to park, I don’t have the right lens, I can come back.

But now I can’t find them. Have they been mown down by the council? died already? Have I forgotten which route I took?

So that they are beginning to seem quite unreal, as if Beatrix Potter sketched them in there with her yellow paint (Googling ‘Beatrix Potter mushrooms’, I am amazed to find that she was a mycologist in fact. I can’t even find a good picture of them Googling ‘yellow mushrooms’. Although I’m interested to discover there is a yellow mushroom (Leucocoprinus birnbaumii) that pops up in houseplants. But the caps are too narrow to be mine. see here )

I am embarrassed to admit that what is to be found on our verges at this time of year in profusion is a bright yellow delicate flower. The colour is right but the shape is wrong and the stems aren’t yellow. Can’t find them on Google either.

So, did I imagine it? Am I living in a parallel universe just now?

Why is it bothering me? – so much that I’ve written all this and googled both the mushrooms and the wildflowers. Do mushrooms have special meaning? At last, Google kicks in:

’"There is a world beyond ours, a world that is far away, nearby, and invisible. And there is where God lives, where the dead live, the spirits and the saints, a world where everything has already happened and everything is known. That world talks. It has a language of its own. I report what it says. The sacred mushroom takes me by the hand and brings me to the world where everything is known. It is they, the sacred mushrooms, that speak in a way I can understand. I ask them and they answer me. When I return from the trip that I have taken with them, I tell what they have told me and what they have shown me."

Thus does the famous Mazatec shaman, Maria Sabina, reverently describe the god given powers of the intoxicating mushrooms that she uses in her ceremony which has come from from ages past.’ (ref )

So what do these mushrooms tell me? … don’t drive on past. Stop. Capture it with whatever you’ve got. However unsuitable the lens. This single chance, this moment may be all.


  • AuntDot
    AuntDotalmost 2 years ago

    Love the way you wrote this, Nadine! Hope your husband is well.
    Did you do a search right here in RB? Type yellow mushrooms on the search line and see what you can find.

  • thanks for commenting and what a clever idea dot!! The closest is Rusty Katchmer’s Yellow fellows but she hasn’t been able to identify them either.

    Husband had 5 days in hospital but out of pain and danger now. More tests and scans to come to make sure.

    – nadine henley

  • Ruth Lambert
    Ruth Lambertalmost 2 years ago

    Google “yellow mushrooms”……..hundreds of photos shown!

  • thanks ruth but I did – lots and lots of yellow mushrooms but none surreal like mine!

    – nadine henley

  • Jan Timmons
    Jan Timmonsalmost 2 years ago

    What a thoughtful, thought-provoking, articulate, pensive piece! The moment is all, perhaps.
    I’m delighted to read your writing, Nadiney—other than our email exchanges, you understand. And do not hide this! We’re past that, almost, eh?

  • Indeed. I’m delighted I felt like writing AND posting this. Thank you for your lovely comment, jan

    – nadine henley

  • Jan Timmons
    Jan Timmonsalmost 2 years ago

    And I’m so happy Peter is home from hospital! What an ordeal.

  • Jan Timmons
    Jan Timmonsalmost 2 years ago

    As to ‘living in a parallel universe just now’, why not? Double pleasure, particularly if you see those shrooms along the verge again. What if you could travel up here while paralleling, without the CFS!

  • true – perhaps I just haven’t been open to the swooshshshsshshshshsh it would take?! great idea.

    – nadine henley

  • Georgie Hart
    Georgie Hartalmost 2 years ago

    They may still be out there Nadine – hopefully you’ll see them again! Thanks for the Maria Sabina quote, I find this bit particularly comforting: “[There is] a world where everything has already happened and everything is known,” as it just serves to give a little perspective…makes it seem everything will work out as it should somehow. Love your writing and hope the next neon beauties encounter you when you’re armed and ready for them – and that your husband is well and truly on the mend!

  • thanks so much for your lovely comment, G.

    – nadine henley

  • TeaRose
    TeaRosealmost 2 years ago

    This is lovely Nadine. That’s life isn’t it – we have just the moment, the “now”. By the way, does Tuppence know he is featured on the “Net” and has a host of viewers

  • thanks so much, norma. I finally managed to write something for 2013! Tuppence is oblivious of her stardom!

    – nadine henley

  • Louise Cooke
    Louise Cookealmost 2 years ago

    Oh those potent magic mushrooms! Lovely piece Nadine – I hope they reappear for you sometime …in the meantime it will have to be “the one that got away” as my Dad (the fisherman) would have said. I hope Peter is on the mend and feeling much better – always a stressful time to have a loved one in hospital – you take care.

  • how lovely to see you here, lou! thanks so much for commenting and for the good wishes. Peter will be going back to work on Monday, we think. So things have calmed down again. Hope all is well with you.

    – nadine henley

  • tori yule
    tori yuleover 1 year ago

    Maybe you did stop, Nadine, and ate some of those intoxicating mushrooms. I don’t think you imagined it at all, I think you forgot what happened. It all sounds very trippy to me. Either way, get a photograph next time, so we’ll know for sure. It could have been a new species of wildflowers that are always popping up around where you live. Great story, loved it.

  • thanks so much, dear tori – I like your thoughts. Maybe I did stop!

    – nadine henley

  • bobmcconn
    bobmcconnabout 1 year ago

    Dear Nadine:
    i’m not sure about what email address to use..the iinet.net.au bounces and i’ve been assuming you don’t check the .edu address? Sorry for posting so publicly here..but we’ve not moved – geographically or virtually…still bobmcconn at gmail.com. Has rheumatoid arthritis (in addition to everything else) been ruled out?
    as always,
    (i go out looking for chanterelles w/ a good friend..As mike puts it: “there are old mushroom hunters; there are bold mushroom hunters. There are no old, bold mushroom hunters.” (been used for other sometimes risky activities too).

  • wow! a voice from the past – will email you right away x

    – nadine henley