Fern Moss and Shelf Mushroom Watercolor


45°F cold rain

I am wearing my rain gear with layers of clothing bundled underneath as I walk on a grassy trail laced with mud. I don’t mind the mud nor do I mind the cold drizzle on my face. In a lifetime of Monday thru Friday, 9-5 numbness, the cold drizzle is a welcome. It makes me feel alive.

On a particular section of trail, I find a banditry of chickadee. Their chatter is loud and overwhelming. I do not know what they are saying for I do not speak chickadian. Perhaps I am the subject of their banter, disrupting them on a day where they do not expect many humans?

They unwittingly halt me in my tracks. As I stand there looking up, something tells me to look down….

At my feet, I discover another world…. a glowing white shelf mushroom carpeted by brilliant green moss, set contrast to a dark saturated tree stump. I no longer hear the clatter of the chickadees, because I am lost in the contour of the moss. My eyes follow every fern-like curve. I observe its green gradient from dark green- to medium- to light- to white tips.

The chickadees are not amused by my fern moss and mushroom rapture, so they maintain their scold.  I know when I’m not welcome. I’m leaving. I’m leaving.

I walk away knowing the secret of where my beauties live…..under the chant of the chickadees.



  1. Chickadees are cool! But I’ve said this before … they make great alarm clocks … if you want to get up @ four-thirty in the morning … I think their primary purpose in life is to distract you from … anything and everything. They are the raccoons of the bird world –
    It is our responsibility as artists to find what they are trying to distract you from, and paint it … or carve it … or sculpt it … write about it. You’re doing a great job fulfilling your responsibility … . Thank you for your art!

  2. Are you certain it was not wrens that were chattering? I put up 4 wren homes and the chattering is pretty loud, especially at 4:30 am. Then the chicadees sing with their two note melody and it’s quite a cacophony of sounds!

    1. Hi Alanna 🙂
      Wow! There’s no vacancy in your yard. That’s pretty cool and they love it there…. any sighting of the fox lately? Your home is wildlife haven. ❤
      Good to hear from you.

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