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The current Weekly Photo Challenge from the folks at The Daily Post at http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/weekly-photo-challenge-growth/ is Growth. This covers an extremely wide range of possibilities but I think I’ll stick with my first choice, fungi. These strange growths come in all colors, shapes and sizes. Some are edible and others deadly and they seem to grow as if by magic on the sides of trees, among fallen leaves or in the grass.

I’ve always been fascinated by fungi, from the ‘fairy rings’ of my childhood to the giant puffballs that the girls and I used to discover on our walks through the forest preserves. And from a gastronomical standpoint I love most dishes that include mushrooms.

When my Dad retired and came to live in America he, my father-in-law and his brother would take off on Sunday mornings to comb the woods for mushrooms. Sometimes they would be gone for hours and then return home with maybe one or two in the bottom of the large canvas bags that they’d confidently expected to fill. Other times they were more successful and found enough  for all of us to enjoy, my father-in-law being a culinary whizz when it came to frying them in butter with a generous dash of black pepper. I always trusted his judgement when it came to picking these tasty morsels (he was an old mushroom hunter from way back.)  I wasn’t so sure about the ones Dad brought home but, being the loyal daughter, ate them anyway.

Nowadays I only eat store-bought mushrooms but I love to go looking for them and other interesting fungi when I’m walking through the woods and fields.

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