Friday, June 14, 2019

Nature Brilliance & How-To Poems

Wine Caps and Spore Print
Foraging by Henry V
Photo by Amy LV

Students - Our son Henry is interested in mycology (the study of fungi) and foraging, and this week he found a treasure trove of wine cap mushrooms. Above, you can see the spore print he took of one of them. Its purple hue helped him finalize the identification of this mushroom.

Today's poem grew from a scientific fact (mushrooms make spore prints), an object lying around our house (this print on the table and the mushrooms in the fridge), and a comment made by my husband (when Mark left this morning, he asked, "Are you going to write a blog post about this spore print?")  Poems and writing ideas really are all over the place.

This poem is also a bit of a how-to poem, explaining how to make a spore print.  You can best collect spore prints from mushrooms gathered in the wild. And too, you might choose to write a how-to poem about anything you wish to teach.

If you wish to learn more about mushroom hunting, you can do so at Wonderopolis, and you can learn more about spore prints and everything-mushroom from the North American Mycological Association.

Remember: do not eat mushrooms you find unless you are a mushroom expert or under the guidance of a mushroom expert.  Some mushrooms are poisonous and can make you sick.

Laura is hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup over at Laura Shovan with a celebration of the third grade poets of Northfield Elementary as well as this week's poetry offerings from all around the Kidlitosphere. We gather together each Friday, and all are always welcome.  

Please share a comment below if you wish.


  1. Charming poem!! Didn't know about spore prints. Love those wine caps. :)

  2. Nice to read and then see what Henry is enjoying, too, Amy. I've made spore prints with my students, kind of a surprise & then they further do learn that it helps to identify them.

  3. I have never heard of spore prints. Poems (and poets) ARE teachers! I will share this with my grandgirl someday. She is a little young yet.....she might not adhere to the admonition not to eat mushrooms she finds. She is a brave girl and determined to chart her own path. I love how you bring so much of the world to your young readers. And your words just flow and sprinkle like spores " on gusts of air".
    Janet Clare F.

  4. You keep teaching me the lesson of paying attention to the world around you and writing about it. I've never known anyone who studied mushrooms. There are so many fascinating things in nature. I love your husband's comment. Mine says those things as well. 'Are you going to write about it?" So much to write about when we notice.

  5. Hi, Amy. I did not know this was a thing you could do, but now I want to make spore prints! "Mushroom writing" is such a wonderful phrase in your poem.

  6. Oh, I LOVE this!! (How have I never made a spore print before?!) My favorite part might be your hubby's question, though - yay, Mark, for knowing just what kinds of wonders spark poetry in you! ;0)

  7. Enchanting poem Amy–I've always found mushrooms to be a bit mysterious, and they have such character. Thanks for sharing the print too!

  8. Now I want to go mushroom hunting and make spore prints!

  9. So cool! I've never made one of these. Poems that give directions for something--in such a charming way--make me smile:>)

  10. I never heard of spore prints. Nature really does play a brilliant game!