Monday, January 19, 2015

Coprinus Domesticus

I have been quietly sitting, reading the Spring edition of the RSPB magazine “Nature’s Home”. There was an interesting letter about a bee orchid found in an uncut patch of lawn in a previous edition.  I don’t know whether bee orchids are rare. A letter writer in this edition lives in Edinburgh and has acid soil.  She found a heath spotted orchid and an early marsh orchid. Uncut lawns, apparently, are great for wildlife.  I shall have to remember to inform the neighbours on either side of me when they start to get tetchy about my plot of wilderness.  I don’t know if I would recognize a bee orchid if it popped up in my uncut lawn. A number of years ago an exotic looking mushroom appeared.  A friend of mine took too much delight telling me that the particular species grew best on rubbish tips.  It inspired a poem.

I leaf my way through
Pages of suspects
I scrutinise
Colours and shapes
Size and spore
And then
I see you
Bell shaped and smooth,
Pale and white tinged,
Black gilled and odourless
A mushroom
Can I eat you?
Chop you up
Fry you in butter
And add you to my
Bacon sandwich?
“Inedible”
I guess not.
I toss you
On to the compost heap
Where we will
No doubt
Meet again next year
And have the same conversation.


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