Opportunism is a very important part of photography. Often the best shots are not necessarily the ones you planned in advance.
I visited Debra and Tony at their cabin in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Since I was there during the last week of September, I had expected the landscape to be painted with the rich orange, yellows, and reds of fall and imagined coming home to write a blog post filled with some wonderful photographs of autumnal splendor. It turns out, though, that I arrived there slightly ahead of the foliage (or at least the peak foliage) and while I did get a few shots of some nice trees, they were not the stuff of my dreams.
What I found instead were mushrooms! And lots of them--growing all over the place. For some reason, there seemed to be an abundant crop of various types of mushrooms everywhere we went. I had never seen so many different varieties. There were about a half dozen species just in Debra and Tony's front yard.
We had a great time and I especially loved a rare occasion to go on a photo shoot with my sister.
We started out at an old cemetery near Copper Harbor and saw the kind of things one expects to see in an old cemetery. Old stuff.
But as we explored the area we began to notice several types of mushrooms growing in between the tombstones--including this one that almost looked like candy.
The next day we went shooting again. This time we went to the south side of the peninsula, facing the more sheltered Keweenaw Bay and with a much different feel to it than the views of a wide-open Lake Superior from the day before. But one thing that was not different was the presence of many varieties of mushroom. This was particularly true at one roadside park at which we stopped and were greeted by a seemingly endless collection of mushrooms. Every time I thought that I had found all the varieties present I would turn around and find another. When we got back to Debra and Tony's house that afternoon, Tony informed me that there are several varieties of hallucinogenic species in the area, which might explain why all day I had the lyrics to the the Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit" stuck in my head. "...and you've just had some kind of mushroom, and your mind is moving low."
The next day I left and made my way back across the upper peninsula, through Wisconsin, and home. Somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin, I pulled into a rest stop along the highway and...wouldn't you know it...more mushrooms!