Indian Pipes

In the afternoon, the three of us took a walk in the forest on Quarry Trail. The muggy air wrapped the odor of pine and humus about us. Little clouds of insects hovered over pools where rain had gathered. After six weeks of rain, a walk outdoors refreshed us all.

Odd translucent plants grew in clusters along the sides of the trail. They looked like flowers, but the back of mind told me they were some sort of fungi. Colored sickly grey to delicate peach, the waxy stalks resembled enokitake mushrooms with elongated florets. I regretted not having a camera, so I swiped a few samples for identification.

Copious googling revealed my find to be the commonly known “Indian pipes.” Also named less offensively “corpse plant” and “ghost flowers,” they are a reasonably uncommon fungus (Monotropa uniflora) brought on by continuous rain. I also snatched a tiny tri-petaled beauty that I can’t identify. The blossom is smaller than a dime and delicate, succulent looking.

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