Everything you ever wanted to know about puffballs but were afraid to ask! No, not really. Just a quick hello with a purple-spored puffball in my yard. Also known as Calvatia cyathiformis, this beauty prefers arid and grassy places, appearing where I live late in dry summers. This season, that meant maturing and sporulating just in time for some autumn rain to fill its cup….you can see some fine drops covered with finer spores in one image above, and what is basically a puddle coated with spores in the picture on the right. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen this video of me playing this puffball like a drum (no puffballs were harmed in the making of this video). Yes, I could have eaten this puffball when they first appeared, but I’m usually more interested in observing and interacting with (rather than consuming) the creatures in my neighbourhood. Some species are known as wolf-farts in French, others as bird’s eye makeup in Arabic; ‘puffball’, while descriptive, sort of pales in comparison. Have a look around, you might find some of these unobstrusive beings tucked into a grassy verge near you.
Bring your dragonfly mask, your castanets or ji’kmaqn, your riq, your ear trumpet, your favourite word, or your favourite wand! I’m looking forward to collaborating with Susanne Chui and Erin Donovan on an outdoor, participatory performance featuring movement, sound, and poetry at the Multiplier Performance Festival.
The day’s fractal surfaces are books, bodies, matrices of snow and leaf, water in its shape-shift from ground, breath, river, tide, and leaf-exhalations to sky; its drift and drizzle from cloud to earth. The day’s fractal surface unfolds, reveals itself: shattering, dappling, mirror-ball mosaic of light racing towards us, a wave of radiance. The day’s … Read more
Bracken, Hayscented fern, Christmas fern, Sword fern, New York Fern, Maidenhair fern, Wood ferns, Oak fern, Interrupted fern, Royal fern, Ostrich fern, Cinnamon fern, Sensitive fern, Virginia Chain fern, Lady fern, Polypody, Rattlesnake fern, Moonwort…I love them all, and there are more yet to learn. I tend to combine brushing up on ferns each season … Read more
I’m spending a lot of time with my face very close to moist ground. That’s where the mosses and liverworts live. I’m trying not to let the thought of ticks stop me, and while I often end up with wet clothes from getting so close, leaning on wet logs and kneeling in mud, it’s worth … Read more
A couple of weeks ago, I took a poem down to the spring and lay it on the surface of the water. The water quickly soaked the paper, and as the poem grew heavier, the water’s movement pushed it below the surface. The words remained legible, although the shadows created by the water’s movement distorted … Read more