We went to the annual Mushroom Festival at Mt. Pisgah Aboretum a few weeks ago. I'd gone to the Wildflower Festival there in the spring and had really enjoyed it, so I had an idea of the size and lay out. As wonderful as the spring festival was, this autumn festival was even better, being my favorite time of year and all, and the weather, gloomy but warm, was just about perfect for showing off all the wonderful autumn displays.
Display as you entered.
The aboretum itself was filled with table after table of beautiful tableaus of mushroom, fungi, moss, and... I'm sure I'm forgetting some of the different plants. Lichen, they had that too. Still probably forgetting some.
Of course this was the first thing that caught my eye when I entered the building.
A wee skull
They remind me of "land clams". What are these called again? Fungus? Fungi? (which reminds me of Hubby's joke about a fungi and a mushroom that walk into a bar that I have heard him tell six bajillion times - *Runs screaming away with hands over ears*)
Check out the lady's hat, cute huh. I was wearing a mushroom hat too but didn't take a pic of myself.
And here's the real thing.
Some mushrooms were big. (there were some that were even bigger, pics didn't come as well though to show the size)
And some that were eensy teensy tiny.
Is this Hobgoblin graffiti? Or Elven petroglyphs?
A carbon based agate.
These were called Orange Peel Fungus, but I think they look more like little fae soup bowls.
A star fallen from the skies?
These were called Cat's Tongue. They were somewhat transluscent and rubbery to the touch. They weren't rough like a cat's tongue though. They look more like dripped candle wax to me.
Ah, chanterelles, the delicious ones!
Moss, lichen, fungi... a patchwork of texture and design.
I liked the wee red caps on these.
There were other things at the festival as well. Music, food, plant sales, vendors, informational booths, children's activities, hiking. I didn't take pics of all that but a woman who sold yarn and fibers kindly allowed me to take a photo of her samples, all dyed from different mushrooms. Beautiful colors. There was another vendor that sold scarves that were all dyed with mushrooms and her colors were even more varied, including many greens and pinks.
Hubby (cleverly disguised as Sherlock Holmes) waiting in line for very delicious mushroom soup.
They had a scarecrow contest. By the time we wandered over the festival was almost over and some of the scarecrows were gone or being taken down, but I managed to snap a few pics of some of my favorites.
I thought this guy looked like a forest guardian you would see in a Miyazaki film.
A forest faery of course.
He looks scary but maybe he's just a good ol' boy that would be happy to sit down and have a beer with ya?
This guy definitely needs his meds adjusted.
A courtly gentleman, surrounded by adoring little toadstools (made out of pumpkins, squash, and gourds. I'm totally stealing that idea for next season!).
The obligatory werewolf wandering loose in the woods.
This guy with his floating Stetson looks almost kindly but I sort of think he might be the creepiest of all - lure you in and then.... I don't know... he just seemed ready to turn into something frightening when I least expected it.
Alas, all good things must come to an end.
If you'd like to see all the mushroom photos I took, you can check them out here.