Photography look back: fungi

Even though most of my photos are pictures of the magnificent peaks and valleys I visit, I have a special fondness for taking photos of mushrooms. Some, like Amanita muscaria are greatly photogenic on their own, others need a bit of help from their surroundings, like crouching at a tree’s stump, obscured by the grass or growing from a soft moss.

Due to when most of them grows, these photos are usually limited to late summer and most of autumn, before the temperatures drop below zero. Every year, I stop by and take photos of fungi several times, whether they are edible or not. I rarely collect edible ones, mostly because after the long journey home, they’d be in quite bad state (my general rule is to collect them if I can return within 2 hrs of finishing the hike). So, here are few of the best photos I made this year.

As for this year, my biggest surprise was to find this beauty high in the mountains – by my memory, I guess it was in elevation around 1850 meters ASL.

‘They don’t grow high in the hills’. Myth busted.

That was fifth day of my stay in Slovakia, and I had some nice finds the seventh day as well. Even though they were edible, I could not take them with me as that day, I had quite difficult hike ahead where I would need all my four limbs for progress.

It’s sometimes strange feeling to know that probably hundreds of people use the trail daily during the summer, yet overlook them. I doubt that everyone going through there would go as high as I did. Slavic nations are quite into gathering edible fungi and so seeing this just next to the trail is even better feeling.

I would say that Amanita muscaria is my most photographed mushroom, because it’s probably the most photogenic one, and each year I collect more evidence to that claim.

It’s even better in cases like this, when these majestically looking fungi are seen pushing they way through the foliage.

Or, like the right one, when you manage to capture and insect sitting on it. On mushroom that in my language is called ‘fly killer’.

And likewise majestic are photos of fungi that grow out of somewhere with very little space, yet they manage. And unlike me, they don’t have any problem with spider nets – for which I’ll break my initial decision and post two pictures from 2016.

And that’s the photo show (off) from me for this time.

Look back: A place nice in any season, but best in autumn

This time, I’ll write a bit about a place I like to visit, and one that I found to be great for seeing the seasons change. But as with any mixed forest, it’s autumn when it truly shines. This post will be about the southern part of ‘Rychlebské hory’ mountain range on CZ-PL border, near the Jeseník and Horní Lipová spa towns.

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Seeking the first snow

Autumn is quite diverse season. It starts as slightly colder summer, then moves into colorful art for a while before fading to gray. And in the end, it gets a bit white as well. November, by my experience, is one of the worst months for hiking, at least here. Most of the time it’s cloudy and it lacks the color of October. In fact, those are the months I end up returning with my clothes wet and (almost) no photos taken the most, the only decent competition was April 2017. But sometimes it’s not so bad.

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Goodbye, summer…

I know that astronomically, it’s over for more than a week, but especially in the last years, it’s not like weather cared much for that. Yes, the days are colder, but late September and sometimes even early October are still great time for a hike, especially when it combines the warmth and the autumn colors.

And that’s how my last cross-border hike of 2017 looked like…

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Bieszczady, third day

Third day’s plan were the grassy peaks I’ve seen from the previous hikes. After the rainy second day, I considered it quite great deal of luck that my clothes managed to dry overnight, but outside it was still quite misty in the morning. Typical early autumn, I guess. The forecast was optimistic, but I refused to blindly believe it. Also, this time we were using one of the most used trails, so the ticket and souvenir shack was active in that place, meaning no free entry this day.

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