Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Just Hanging out
Here in the northern forests we have a lot of birch trees. There is a particular kind of fungus that lives only on birch trees. It has a lovely smooth texture and soft, velvety curves...and they make a perfect roof for leaf houses !
This simple hanging home was made from stitched together maple leaves. I had collected a mushroom from this same tree a year before and had dried it out. Turned upside down it made the floor for this little cottage by the pond. The entrance-way is decorated in a sunburst pattern with sumac leaves. A great little hangout. The odd slug-like lumpy bit to the right of the house is a fledgling fungus. The triangular glyph below is a natural marking on the tree... but I would not be surprised if it were a signpost of some sort put up by the Faeries.
I was told that Native peoples used this fungus to carry fire embers from one camp to another. I don't know the technical way it was done, but it is easy to imagine it... when dried the fungus is light, carvable, yet so full of tiny air pockets that it would act as a perfect insulator....just the spot to nestle an ember in a bed of cedarbark shavings.. if that is how it was done.