Cheyenne being illegal on the couch upstairs at Jacob's house in Asheville. Mason led the way so it wasn't her fault.Jacob and Bevin have built themselves a modern passive solar house in this city designed as an almost off the grid home benefiting from the heat of the sun stored by day in the massive concrete foundation and returned to the house by night. last winter, the coldest on record cost them $20 a month in heating bills... And one day they plan to to incorporate expensive solar panels to reduce their daily living costs even further as they raise their children here.All of which has absolutely nothing to do with the pictures I have lined up of stuff I saw growing in the woods around Asheville. I have found over the years that there is a stereotype of mountain people in these parts that has as it's source that exciting and 1972 movie Deliverance. It told the story of a camping trip gone wrong where the city slickers upset some locals and pay a horrible price for their invasion of their secretive Georgia backwoods. The "squeal like a pig" rape scene shocked audiences at a time when such a thing as shock was possible in a theater and the image of country people as violent inbred freaks has persisted. It is a great shame because the few people I have come across on my rambles in these mountains are shy, kind, cheerful and generous in inverse proportion to their poverty. My in laws who have made these mountains their home for 35 years know far more than I do and their experiences have been uniformly positive. Such is the power of Hollywood and advertising.I grew up in a part of Italy where truffles and fungus are a way of eating and I rate a plate of mushrooms fried in garlic and olive oil as a worthwhile meal any day of the week. I am no picker of mushrooms but I find them fascinating and beautiful in their colorful resilience and I was delighted to see them sprouting in the leafy piles along the mountain trails.
Oops, there goes my dog getting in the way as usual.
Proper mushroom chasing gear is of the essence for any successful expedition.
Rhododendrons aren't technically mushrooms but they can be lovely too.
Aha, here we have tracked down elusive fungus.
Cheyenne nearly kicked this one into eternity. They were everywhere.
Battered but alive.
I have mentioned previously that in the interest of safety all roads have to be labeled nowadays.
the beauty of the change was that residents got to name their own streets. Geeta and Bob are the only residents of this lane so they got to call it thusly. Bob had proposed "Dappled Dharma" whose alliteration appealed to me but apparently common sense prevailed. Very tedious is common sense sometimes.