Elfin antics

inthetreeTerry J. Woodall shares a story about finding Amanita caps in the treetops (probably brought there by animals for some reason, though his playful suggestion of elves might make more sense):

“Three different patches of these Amanita muscaria toadstools dot the forest floor surrounding my art studio/woodshop, and while cutting fir branches back away from the shop yard, I noticed one large mushroom cap out of place.  Way out of place, as it was neatly balanced about six feet out on a branch ten feet from the ground.  Odd as it appeared, a bright red cap high in a tree, an obvious assumption was that an overly zealous bird or squirrel had done the deed.

This was only the beginning; as I scanned other fir trees further up the hillside, I immediately spotted another Amanita in a very similar arrangement, neatly balanced on a 1-1/2” diameter branch high above my head.  Exploring deeper into the forest, I found two more mushrooms in the trees, and in the nearby patches I found stems without caps, indicating the source of the air born mushrooms.

This nature induced decorating of evergreens began in mid-December, and now with one week before Christmas, I have discovered three more red, polka dotted caps placed in a deliberate fashion for a total of seven, with three in the same tree, and all found in a twenty five year old stand of Douglas Firs.

What Elfin creatures deliberately placed these fairytale mushroom caps way out on evergreen limbs?”

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