Mushrooms and Leaves

I saw only one dog with dog walker this morning. No barking from behind the cedar fence or chain-link either.

This autumn I’ve seen more mushrooms than I can remember from past years. I’ve been picking fungus pods from around my flower area most of the growing season.
Since I started my walking program, I’ve seen a great variety of mushrooms in people’s yards. White bubbles the size of softballs, brown flat tops resembling toad stools in illustrated children’s books, and other shapes seem to be in all but the fastidiously trimmed yards. Not a morel to be seen.
A garden show commentator told one caller, “A line of mushrooms across a lawn may be an indicator of a dying tree.” Wow! Nearly every tree in the neighborhood must be on its last root. As heard on late night TV advertising, “But wait, there’s more.” Many lawns where there have been no trees during our many years in the neighborhood also have mushrooms. Am I curious enough to do a real study? Nah!

Fallen leaves on the street and sidewalks were as crisp as fresh corn flakes from the box when I started this. Today they were mostly soggy like leftover flakes in milk. One apple on a neighbor’s tree was still clinging to its branch a few days ago. OK! OK, it’s not a leaf. I looked again when I read the comic strip where Ed Crankshaft waited for days to capture the last leaf on his tree. The apple was there then, but today it has joined others in their job to start spreading the wild orchard.
Last week one man on my route was blowing leaves to the curb. Today his lawn was as covered as it had been the week before. Perhaps he just needed to get out of the house for a while. It’s obvious to me that he’ll have another opportunity.
The most leaves I remember seeing were at Ft. Devens, MS, when I was stationed there in 1956. I’d been there in ’55, but after casual company grunts had removed all the fallen leaves.
Remember Doris Day and others singing, “…The falling leaves of red and gold…?”

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