Beauty in decay

Autumn wins you best by this its mute appeal to sympathy for its decay.
Robert Browning


A long day spent delving deep into the woods leads one to the discovery of the otherworldly and alienesque.
Flora, fauna, fungi. . .
There is both life and death . . .
And there is beauty, even in decay. . .

These images are of the myriad species of shelf or bracket fungi (polypores).
These woody growths are telltale signs of the decline and eventual death of a hardwood tree.
They have been used throughout the centuries for both the making of jewelry, medicines as well as sustenance—









(all images are shelf fungi (polypores) / Troup Co, Georgia / Julie Cook / 2014)

8 comments on “Beauty in decay

  1. Karen says:

    Great photos! There really is so much beauty in nature if you just take the time to look. 🙂

    • Thanks Karen—the woods really are a wonderful place to wander as there is always something amazing to see. I loved your view of Portsmouth. We fly in there a couple of summer’s back when we rented a car and headed up into the White Mt.s staying at Mount Washington Resort—a beautiful hotel harkening back to another time—taking the cog train up to the summit of the mountain—
      Thanks for the reminder of a great trip—

  2. Lynda says:

    A walk in the woods is one of my favourite activities. When the children were young I used to spend a lot of time in the woods with them as we had a cottage. Now I love to take the grandchildren into the woods near their home. There is so much beauty and so many intriguing plants that we don’t see otherwise. Thanks for these beautiful photos. Blessings on your day.

  3. First, I have to say the post yesterday about the journey your little family has made to arrive at L-SAT day truly moved me. I can SO sense that peace you feel in having made it to this day, no matter the outcome of yet another test!!! And this post here today – I feel a nudging to go out and walk through my own woods…see the beauty and smell the comforting stillness of the day! Much love!!! Phyllie

  4. Great photos! I love fungi. They are such strange, other worldly beings. We don’t have any woods to wander close by, and if we did, I’d be scared to death I’d run into snakes here in Texas. I do find some fungi from time to time in my yard and down at our botanical gardens especially after we’ve had lots of rain. Sadly we are NOT getting much rain at all and they are saying we’re in for a dry winter. Damn I hate this drought! Love and hugs, N 🙂 ❤

    • Drought for sure—we were predicted to have rain, heavy starting in the wee hours, lasting most of the day—do you know we had nary a drop–totally missed us. Yep, we are definitely dry. In the deficit range to be sure—
      the winter is predicted to be both dry and mild—I’m none pulsed to be sure!!!
      And trust me, as I wander in the woods, both eyes are pealed for snakes as this is the season of aggressive activity with rattlesnakes, copperheads and cottonmouths —and then there are the blood thirsty seed ticks along with their full blown relations waiting to give me Lymes disease or the poison ivy, oak, sumac or worse—the dreaded thunder wood—of which I had to trim off a few prime trees yesterday a particular husband wanted to lay claim for a deer stand—ode to a simple walk in the woods 🙂

      • Boy are you braver than I am! I hate snakes as bad as you hate spiders! And all lthat other stuff you mentioned would keep me away as well. Give me a sandy beach where I can see what’s lurking to get me. Love, N

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