Every year in my backyard, messages are written in the darkest ink. In late October and early November white spires push through the earth, grass, and leaves. As the mushrooms open and lift their caps, black spores shower out and soon the ink follows, sinking back into the earth. Wrenched from their habitat and placed on paper, these mushrooms still perform, sending out black powder and then a copious amount of black ink that looks blue if it reflects the sky. These are messages left just before winter, just before their originators disappear into the earth. These pictures are a collaboration between the mushrooms and me.
As harbingers of a tough New England winter to come, these markings seem to speak of the strange winter of 2020, and to me they also hint at the dark times in the17th century when my European forbearers invaded New England and one of my ancestors was hung as a witch by her own people. Life has, however, a way of seeming joyful and, once in a while, funny even in the worst of times. The reflections of blue sky and the persistent insect tracks remind that life above ground goes on.