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Good Heart
by: Amy

Len,

I live in NH and have been seeing shows and visiting the Boston/Cambridge area my whole life so I know the area you're talking about. Yikes. I would be scared to stop there! Good for you! Please tell me that bird lived.

"I have always believed that human intelligence, awareness and conscience are the essence of our souls, which charges us with the responsibility to be caretakers of this miraculous world and of each other. I believe also that the rare joy we feel when discovering brilliant anomalies like giant puffballs are a divine reward for how we address the opportunities of our humanity."

I had a conversation just the other day with my better half about this very topic. I completely agree. Because we have this power, we're stewards of the land and of other creatures, not masters. I always feel that divine reward especially strong when I see an owl. Seeing an owl, much like finding a special mushroom, is like being let in on a rare secret. Gifted to you in that one moment to marvel at.

I'd love to see your pictures. You can email me at amy -at- mushroom-appreciation.com. Only replace the -at- with @ and take away the spaces. You know the drill. ;)

Good Heart
by: Len Phillips

I had a similar experience when commuting into Cambridge MA a few years ago, eastbound on Memorial Drive, which has four traffic lanes, two eastbound and two westbound. It was a cold, rainy morning with dense traffic. The Charles River was to my right and Harvard University buildings, to my left. I noticed a white mass on the center line.
As I drew closer, I saw that it was a herring gull, from all appearances sitting on the painted line, and looking from right to left. As I drove up to the bird, I opened my door and saw that the bird had a broken leg. Because I had stopped my car, harried commuters behind me blew their horns over and over. I scooped the bird up and put it under my jacket and finished my commute. Once parked, I looked again at the bird, and noticed that my white dress shirt was stained red. The bird had been hit.
Once in my office, I called every animal rescue department and organization I knew. Meanwhile, the bird sat on my desk, growing weaker. While at a lengthy staff meeting, I was told that Animal Control had arrived, and took the poor creature away. I took photos of the bird on my desk and can send one if you'd like.
I have always believed that human intelligence, awareness and conscience are the essence of our souls, which charges us with the responsibility to be caretakers of this miraculous world and of each other. I believe also that the rare joy we feel when discovering brilliant anomalies like giant puffballs are a divine reward for how we address the opportunities of our humanity.

Good Heart
by: Amy

Len,

It's taken me a while to get to this but I wanted you to know how touched I was by this story. Poor thing. You have a truly good heart to give that suffering creature some comfort in its last hours.

Response to Amy
by: Len Phillips

Amy,
So glad you saw my photos! I don't know if there's an association between the Fairy Ring of Giant Puffballs and the pet cemetary, but the ring exactly demarks the boundary of where all the graves are and it's reasonable to assume an association. All the pets were loved. The saddest was a small white poodle that I found while biking home from work on a snowy winter's day. It was after dark and the bike's headlight caught the poor little guy on the side of the road lying against the snow berm thrown up by the plow (I commuted by bicycle for a number of years). I picked it up--it was barely alive--and put it inside my jacket. When I got home it had passed away. Surely there is some connection between that innocent lost soul and the enormity of the white puffballs!

Love It!
by: Amy

Thanks for sharing, Len! These pictures are fantastic and I love that you pointed out the fairy rings. Giant puffballs are one of the species that are known for growing in this pattern.

Heh, there's an old pet cemetery area near my Mom's house where all my old, dear pets are buried too. Maybe I should go visit it soon....

:)

Amy

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