Angel Wings 1
Angel Wings 2
Angel Wings 3
I believe what is required of the New Human, for us to move towards healing our planet and our relationships, we will have to slow down and pay close attention to each other and our environment. I only learned about angel wing mushrooms (Pleurocybella porrigens) over the past few months from extensive sanity hikes with my husband and kids. I love the way these mushrooms seem to capture the light and magnify it through their gills—they glow, don't they? And at the same time, they're saprobes, meaning they break down dead wood so it can be recycled into soil. Fungi exist underground in fibrous networks of mycelium, but we only notice their fruiting bodies during the short time mushrooms become apparent. Through mycelium, the well-documented "wood-wide web," trees communicate with one another and share nutrients. We are just beginning to learn so much about fungus, and we have a lot more learning to do about ecology, the way environmental systems coexist and cooperate, and how we can be better ancestors to our descendants.
Dayna Patterson is a photographer, textile artist, and mycophile living in the Pacific Northwest. She is the author of Titania in Yellow (Porkbelly Press, 2019) and If Mother Braids a Waterfall (Signature Books, 2020). Her writing and poembroideries have appeared recently in AGNI, Irreantum, The Maynard, and Thrush. She is the founding editor-in-chief of Psaltery & Lyre and a co-editor of Dove Song: Heavenly Mother in Mormon Poetry. She was a co-winner of the 2019 #DignityNotDetention Poetry Prize judged by Ilya Kaminsky. daynapatterson.com