While wondering why WordPress has enforced a change upon us of creating blog posts in ‘blocks’, I can also reflect on how nature simmers soft orange in the still days of late summer, colours daubed on a landscape of fading flowers and moulting birds.
Chicken-of-the-woods has a full sample of that orange.
This year has been a lesson in living without things that were taken for granted for so long, some trivial, some far less so. But could we live at all without fungi? They grow the trees that breathe oxygen – they form symbiotic relationships with so many plants that the world would be unrecognisable without them. Some species, including chicken-of-the-woods, tidy our landscapes through consuming deadwood. Some sprinkle orchids in meadows through bonding with seeds.
Fungi are the gardeners we do not notice, growing a little, pruning a little. And in the world that they hold together, bigger liveforms wander. Roe deer, too, have assumed a fox-orange pelt which become grey when the nights draw in.
And the foxes themselves – they are growing, wandering, questioning what the land can provide for them.
This is a ‘teenager’ cub; it is nearly adult height, but its long limbs, smooth coat and small proportions give its youth away.
They stray into places heavily changed by people, but dressed in a nature fit for late summer.
Soon they will disperse to pastures new, and many more fungi will brighten up the woods.