Commonly known as the sulphur tuft or clustered woodlover, is a common woodland mushroom, often in evidence when hardly any other mushrooms are to be found. This small gill fungus grows prolifically in large clumps on stumps, dead roots or rotting trunks of broadleaved trees.
The Clustered Woodlover is bitter and poisonous; consuming it can cause vomiting, diarrhea and convulsions.
Today I went to a place that I have visited and photographed many times over the past seven years. A small enclave of ancient woodland trapped between farmers fields. There is a stump of a tree trunk in this place, with a huge shelf of fungus a permanent fixture - creating what I have always thought looked like a natural shrine. I have only ever seen the shrine empty, but earlier tonight I found a foxglove growing in the center – Digitalis ordained at the end of an ancient path through the clouds.
Grandmother sat in the magic forest and carved outlandish animals. She cut them from branches and driftwood and gave them paws and faces, but she only hinted at what they looked like and never made them too distinct. They retained their wooden souls, and the curve of their backs and legs had the enigmatic shape of growth itself and remained a part of the decaying forest. Sometimes she cut them directly out of a stump or the trunk of a tree.
Her carvings became more and more numerous. They clung to trees or sat astride the branches, they rested against the trunks or settled into the ground. With outstretched arms, they sank in the marsh, or they curled up quietly and slept by a root.