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My Summer Excerpts

      A ground coating of dark-green moss looks so soft that I'm tempted to take my afternoon nap upon it. But at just that moment, I spot several miniature, yellow, tattered umbrellas. I assume the caterpillars have left them behind on this bright sunny day. I look again and realize that the umbrellas are, in fact, chanterelle mushrooms, the same variety from which my parents recently made a sauce. Although the summer has been relatively dry until now, the moss has apparently held enough moisture to grow several mushrooms.

      The floppy winged chanterelles have an awkward, tilted stance. Their imperfections are exactly what lend them their jovial character. They are also blessed with a composition that helps improve the richness of the soil in which they dwell, promoting the growth of young flora and trees. The chanterelles' cooperation with their forest community makes them well liked in the woods. But many of these amiable mushrooms are doomed to be devoured by gatherers—those who appreciate other qualities of these fragrant, funky-bonneted fungi.

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