Mycological tales.

It looks like I need to expand on the mushroom story mentioned in my previous post. I thought I had shared a satisfying amount of detail, but upon spoon-feeding Yann bonus morsels of information, I’ve come to realize that not everybody was privileged enough to have a backyard, never mind a backyard containing a bounty of mushrooms.

I grew up in the Township of Langley pre-housing developments. All the houses in my neighbourhood were constructed independently in different years, rather than consisting of clusters of cookie-cutter condos painted in a variety of off-white shades. My family’s house was older and slightly smaller than my friends’ homes, but we had a massive backyard bordered by mature cedar trees. At the far left corner was an enclosure where we unintentionally bred rabbits to feed the owls (I realize this will raise more questions), and on the right was–of all things–a tetherball pole.

I’ve actually found a photo of the backyard from five years ago by googling my old address:

A large backyard bordered by mature cedars.
The lawn was much more mossy during my era.

Aside from all the hot air balloons that would drift overhead in the summer, it afforded us lots of privacy. My dad would frequently go hot tubbing in the buff, but only at nighttime when the skies were clear of overhead voyeurs travelling via hot air balloons.

As mentioned in my previous post, I lived in a two-storey house. The entrance was at the base of the stairs leading up to the second floor, where my bedroom was. The front door had glass panes and sheer white curtains on the inside, which typically provided enough privacy. To take a peek inside, you’d have to make hand-binoculars and press them against the glass like a full-blown peeping Tom. And this is what my friends did. They could see that I was home, but without my parents around to hear their knocks, they had to get creative with their attention-grabbing attempts. When they saw me walk upstairs and into my room, they went around the back where they got the idea to chuck mushrooms at my bedroom window.

A grey two-storey house stands in front of a vast expanse of green grass. A white arrow points to the upper right window, which was my old bedroom.
I was living in this house when I first started blogging in 2000.

“But where did they get the mushrooms? Did they spend all that time scavenging for mushrooms just to throw at your window?” Yann asked, suspicious of my story.

“We had a shaded backyard, there were a bunch of fairy rings,” I shrugged.

“Fairy rings?”

“Mushrooms that grow in a ring formation.”


Yann, in a black cap and t-shirt which has the word LOOK printed across the chest, looks in the distance while scratching his head.

I showed him a photo:

A lawn showing mushrooms arranged in a ring.
Photo from Wikipedia.

“Oh, weird. So, your dad carefully planted mushrooms in a circle?”

“That is totally something my dad would do, but no.”

Huh! My backyard privilege was showing. Fairy rings had been a normal part of my childhood: I had known of their existence for most of my life, whereas it had taken Yann 31 years just to be made aware of them.

From my bedroom window, I had a clear view of the multiple fairy rings that cropped up in my vast backyard. Perhaps ten steps down from an ocean view, but still pretty cool. Also, in the summertime, green grapes would grow on the vines that surrounded my bedroom window. I could grab a snack just by opening the window!

After missing my friends’ visit, I noticed the mushroom residue on my window when I pulled down the roller shade that night. The next day at school, my friends mentioned their impromptu visit but made no mention of their mushroom mischief.

I put two and two together and called them out on it. One of them wasted no time in throwing the other under the bus, “IT WAS HER IDEA!”

Oh, teenagers. I wasn’t even mad. I don’t think my parents even cared because they didn’t have to look at the mess: I did.

So, that was the mushroom story… until I tried magic mushrooms.


PS- To name and shame the friends 20+ years later, it was Erin and Alana!

3 thoughts on “Mycological tales.

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