I Finally Found a Mushroom I Like

A close-up view of Mushroom Rock on the Marcus Landslide Trail in McDowell Sonoran Preserve in Scottsdale, Arizona

While I believe mushrooms belong in the Mount Rushmore of Disgusting Foods along with green beans, quinoa, and brown rice, this mushroom I like! Weathered granite formations like Mushroom Rock are created by erosion, the granite pebbles that break away spread across the surface of the desert (my shins had an unpleasant introduction to these pebbles early on after we moved here when I slipped just a little on a hike).

Ten Minutes

Our dog Ellie rests on the tile near our front door with her tongue sticking slightly out in our rental house in Scottsdale, Arizona

I was too tired to get up early for hiking this morning which meant I could take Ellie for her morning walk instead. The walks are only 10 minutes long these days but I treasure every minute. I was thinking as we walked about how one silver lining of getting laid off last year was getting to walk her every morning while she was still able. She still greets me with joy when I get up in the morning and when I come home from work or hiking, her body is aging but her spirit is ever young. She wasn’t sleeping with her tongue out, I caught her as she was about to lick her nose.

A Little Light

Reflected light falls upon Mushroom Rock at sunrise on the Marcus Landslide Trail in McDowell Sonoran Preserve in Scottsdale, Arizona

A week ago I hiked the Marcus Landslide Trail for the first time and came upon Mushroom Rock before sunup. I decided to photograph the rock formation until the sun was up and then explore the rest of the trail. It took a while for the sun to fully clear the hills and not leave the left of the frame in shadow, but my favorite image from the series was this one before any direct light fell on the rocks. There are other places on the trail I found later that I would like to photograph in those fleeting moments of reflected light but I had trouble falling asleep this weekend so those pictures will have to wait.

There is a little light falling on my country too but in this case I’d prefer a lot rather than a little, that we be its source and its receiver. But a little is better than none.