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World Forest Day
"Every mushroom is edible… once”
Mature forests often have several distinct vertical layers, including the Forest Floor layer, where recycling occurs - fungi, insects, bacteria, and earthworms break down waste materials and ready them for reuse throughout the forest system. Tied into this lifecycle are the many members of the fungi family which includes yeasts, molds, and mushrooms! Mushrooms or "toadstools" are the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus and may be edible, poisonous, or merely unpalatable. In German folklore and old fairy tales, toads are often depicted sitting on toadstool mushrooms and catching with their tongues, the flies that are said to be drawn to them. Coming in a stunning variety of shapes and colors, the prettiest are often the most deadly including the fairy-tale coloured death caps, deadly parasols, fly agarics, poison pies, destroying angels, and sweat-causing clitocybes found in the depths of the forest. 🍄 🍁 🍃
Each year, various events celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests and trees for the benefit of current and future generations.
Today, forests cover more than 30% of the world's land and contain more than 60,000 tree species, many as of yet unidentified.
By designer Carol A.L. Martin, this tartan was inspired by the colours of leaves, moss and mushrooms on the forest floor.
In literature, enchanted forests are described in the oldest of folklore. They represent the unknown, places of liminality and transformation. Indeed, in many of folk and fairy tales, the hero or heroine's journey often leads into the forest.
Hansel and Gretel meet with a sinister witch in the forest; Vasilissa the Beautiful encounters Baba Yaga herself; and Molly Whuppie and her sisters run into a giant.
For a reading of a Highland version of a forest-centered fairy tale Molly Whuppie, (Maol A Chliobain) click the picture of moss and mushrooms.