Settings are important to a story and poetry. For me, I use my forest a lot for the backdrop. My curiosity takes me to many different places where it can focus on the forest seasons, fauna, or flora. After an over-abundant year of rain and snow this year, we have had a huge crop of mushrooms. They don’t last very long because something eats them immediately. Unless the fairies are dining on all of them, I decided it was time to do a bit of research.
After some mushroom investigation, I believe we have a couple of large patches of death cap mushrooms. I didn’t do a suggested test of putting the mushroom gill down on black paper to see what color their spores were to confirm this, but they certainly fit the description, especially their gills, and stock. Nor have I gotten close enough to see if they have a slight ammonia smell either. There is another deadly mushroom very common in California the destroying angel. I don’t remember seeing those, but maybe I missed them.
Besides the two poisonous varieties, there are many types of edible California mushrooms that might be growing in our forest that include: porcini, candy caps (seen a few of these), chanterelles (they are here), morels (we have an abundance of these) chicken of the woods, coral, truffles (I want to find these!), turkey tails (yes, have them), apricot belly, and boletes.
In taking my daily walks on the Magical trail, I’ve noticed that mushrooms don’t stay around long. If what I believe truly are death cap mushrooms, then what can eat the poisonous mushroom we can’t? One answer is squirrels. We have an abundance of gray and Douglas squirrels who are very well-fed. Rabbits can eat them, while humans will feel this mushroom’s ill effects that can easily lead to death.
Although the forest gives us beauty and even food we can eat, some things can kill us too. I don’t like to eat mushrooms so there will never be an issue of me getting a bad mushroom. But, what if a character desires to use a death cap to deal with another character in a story? Or someone in your story wanted to use medicinal properties from a mushroom? Lost in a forest and running out of things to eat? Knowledge could keep your characters alive—or not.
There are so many possibilities around us. If only we head outside and wonder about things around us—down to the tiniest of weeds coming up through the sidewalk crack. I will keep exploring all those possibilities here in Finn’s Forest and my stories.
There will be no post next week due to the holiday. Happy Fourth of July for those in the USA.
Embrace that inner child by honoring your curiosity! D. L. Finn
Welcome to the 2023 Summer Edition of Books That Changed Me. Summer is a time for backyard BBQs, swimming, vacations, ice cream, and reading. Today I’m sharing four of my top reads that would be excellent for summer reading by the pool, lake, or cozy by the nice air conditioning or fan in my case. You’ve already seen my reviews for these books, so here’s their blurb with a link if you want to add a good read to your summer reading list.
Amidst a rising tide of poachers, three unlikely eco-warriors take a stand to save endangered Eastern Gray Wolves—even if it means the slow slaughter of their captors.
Deep in the woods of Jackson, New Hampshire, an ancient evil lurks. Armed poachers patrol a secret enclosure, holding captive a pack of majestic Eastern Gray Wolves. But three unlikely eco-warriors are determined to free the wolves, embarking on a dangerous mission to end their torture. With courage and conviction, Shawnee, Mayhem, and Jacy Lee march onward, even if it means risking their own lives to take down the poachers and restore freedom to the wolves. It’s a battle between justice and injustice, and the eco-warriors are determined to win—no matter the cost.
But what if something even more evil lurks in those woods? What if Shawnee’s not ready to answer the cry for help?
“When you loved someone more than anything in the world, you showed them who you were, even knowing there was a possibility they would hate you for it, even if it broke your heart. But you did it anyway because you loved them and the need to save them was greater than your need for self-preservation.”
Amidst the luminescence and incandescent beauty of the rare pink diamonds of Peradora, South America, lives Amelia, a teen oblivious to her supernatural bloodline. It would appear that she has the perfect life.
Until it turns out, her entire life is a lie Forced to confront secrets from her past
Amelia has to distinguish between the truth and lies in her brutal fight against the Peradorian dictator, her own uncle.
Her metamorphosis becomes the clarion call of a revolution Matters of the heart complicate her life further
Will she ever get over her first love Adrian whose adventurous spirit made her feel alive? Is Noah, the handsome bodyguard she just can’t seem to ignore, a foe, a friend or much more than that?
Both Noah and Adrian are hiding secrets of their own Will their secrets destroy Amelia?
As she takes on the fight of her life, Amelia will soon learn that some secrets are best buried in the past, and some truths can set you free.
And in the end She is the girl with no face Will she find herself again?
Metamorphosis is a dark and fractured fairy tale and fantasy about a love story born from the roots of hate.Based on the theme of star-crossed lovers, it alludes to Rapunzel, Snow White and Beauty and The Beast, combining flavors of all these timeless fairy tale classics and setting them against the harsh reality of real life – blood diamonds and rebellion. Add to the mix a heroine inspired by Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott and you have a young girl, pretty much a prisoner in a golden cage, but determined to find herself- save herself and others.
So, why is she referred to as … ‘The Girl With No Face?’
Lion Scream is a graphic collection of poetry and prose. The book portrays the author’s experiences with South African wildlife and the growing impact of the Sixth Mass Extinction and Climate Change on the natural environment.
Lion Scream There is no jungle Only acres of smooth stumps There is no jungle No habitat, no food source Hopeless lion screams tonight
“In this reflective collection of syllabic poetry, poet Roberta Cheadle weaves words, emotions, and images as she recounts her soul-stirring journey around South Africa in 2022. She highlights the plight of the animals in the face of the Sixth Mass Extinction, during a visit to Ukutula Lodge & Game Reserve. Lion Roar is a poetic and photographic roadmap to the heart & soul of South Africa with highlights about the increasing impact of global warming on humanity and the greater planet. A must read!” —Colleen M. Chesebro, Author of Word Craft: Prose & Poetry, The Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry
Halley, who is a successful businesswoman, receives an anonymous offer to live her dream in a town she fell in love with. The only catch is she must find love within the year, a part-time job, and write a book. With her book started, and a job obtained, she finds two interesting men who might be a love interest, one more than the other according to her test, but not necessarily her heart. This is a pleasant seaside town where everyone is nice—with an exception or two. I could easily imagine myself living in this location and would love to get an offer like Halley received. The town is welcoming, and Halley is offered a dwelling to live in while the cottage was being finished that she bought through her mysterious benefactor. Along the way, she learns about herself and what is important to her. There is humor and growth along this journey for Halley. I love the relationships she develops, especially with Mick, the sea captain, Libby who offers good advice, Ginger, her new best friend and boss, and especially Sally and her daughter Tulip. But it’s the one with Ben that adds a special layer to this sweet story and offers a real chance to Halley to find love if they can get past themselves. An excellent clean, romantic read that I thoroughly enjoyed and can recommend.
“Tales From The Garden” is a whimsical collection of stories that dives into the magical world just outside our window. Each tale captivated me, especially when the fairies were involved. I particularly loved when the pregnant deer found this garden, as well as a young boy who was protecting a goose. The collection ends with a beautiful tribute to the 94-year-old mother or Mollie (The Duchess) Coleman. I always knew those statues outside in the garden held a little magic and these charming stories captured that beautifully. A quick but very satisfying read for adults of any age who want to remember that spark we carried inside as children. It would be a splendid set of stories for children to share with their adults too. I can easily recommend these tales.
I read and loved “To Hunt a Sub” and have been eager to read this second installment in the Rowe-Delamagente Series. I not only enjoyed “Twenty-Four Days” but thought the story was even more exciting, which I didn’t think was possible. The same characters that I rooted for, and against, returned. Otto the AI’s growth, and new body, made him my favorite character, and it was nerve-racking seeing Sean trying to do the right thing. It was up to Kali, Zeke, and Otto to save the world from war. Like the first book, the attention to detail drew me deep into the story. The reader is taken into a submarine and onto the open sea on a Navy ship with cruel terrorists lurking. North Korea and the hijacking extreme terrorists seem determined to start a conflict, but Kali and Zeke need to find out who is running things. A well-written, action-packed story that was hard to put down. I can easily recommend “Twenty-Four Days” but suggest you start with the first story, so you don’t miss anything!
Julia survived a suicide pact she’d made with her only friend and the new kid in school, Rachel. Fifteen years later, she is still trying to survive. Julia lives with her parents and has a job but again no friends. She meets a kind young man, Adam, who changes all of that. Her life changes slowly in a more positive direction, but her inner world is just under the surface. At first, I found the story hard to wrap my mind around. Although I understood the dream world parts, it was her alternative that took me a minute to realize what was going on. Julia combined all the people who bullied her. I quickly settled into the story and her realities. Then I found it hard to put down, especially when she flashed back to her suicide attempt and how she met Rachel. “Cat and The Dreamer” deals with some powerful issues, that include suicide, bullying, and mental health. Everything comes together by the end, and I came up with a theory of what really happened, but I won’t share that here. A very unusual and powerful heart-wrenching read where I just couldn’t help but root for Julia. I can easily recommend this novella.
“The Inyan Beacon” is a quick read that not only easily blends two authors but two genres, sci-fi, and westerns. Tank and his synth, Compass are passing through a small western town in the future. Tank is determined to get into a tower and feels he can undo some of the harm from the past. My favorite character quickly became Compass. Who wouldn’t want beautiful blue skin? There was a fun twist waiting for them, which I enjoyed. A short and satisfying read, and a world I’d like to explore more.
I have the rest of The Mayhem Series on my Kindle and have been eager to block out some time to read it. Usually, I’ll go back and start a series from the first book, but “Restless Mayhem” tugged at me. So, I jumped right in and found that I could easily figure out what was going on as I learned who everyone was. I loved Shawnee and her relationship with her grandfather and now mentor, Mr. Mayhem, but my favorite characters were the crows, especially Poe. Shawnee, her grandfather, and Mr. Mayhem are eco-warriors who want to save gray wolves from horrible conditions while Shawnee embarks on a spiritual journey. The details and information created a world that I was swept into. There is a pull between handling situations more spiritually than physically. Plus, something evil has awakened that they have to contend with during their sometimes-bloody missions. I will definitely go back to learn more about these characters’ journeys. I can highly recommend this story to those who love animals, Native American spirituality, action, and justice at all costs.
I only post my 4 & 5-star reviews here! If I don’t like the book, I won’t finish it. It wouldn’t be fair to leave a review for an unfinished story, and life is too short not to enjoy my reading journey!
There will be no post next week as I will be celebrating our 40th Wedding Anniversary. We plan to go to South Lake Tahoe and enjoy a boat ride and stay at a local hotel 🙂 Maybe later in the week we’ll venture to a hot springs too.
I will be back June 19th with another From Finn’s Forest.
Embrace your inner child by reading a great book! D. L. Finn