The Armadillo Files, Episode 23 — Featuring Mushrooms, and GP Cox too

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Fungus mushroom Tim Price
Photo by Tim Price

You’ve reached The Armadillo Files.  Stand by for a wild and crazy ride.

When mentioning my weird imagination, more than a few people have asked me if I was doing drugs, specifically the psychedelic kind. After this chapter you might ask the same question. The answer is “No.”  Although lately I’ve been intrigued by the healthful properties and nutritional aspects of some of those fabulous fungi.  Since I’m not on medication, I sometimes look for natural things to help with my PTSD anxiety issues.  Lion’s mane mushrooms sounded promising, but I haven’t noticed any results.  However, they’re super-cool looking, and that got into this chapter.

Photographer Tim Price at Off Center & Not Even let me use some of his beautiful mushroom and fungi photos for a serial in the past, and I’m featuring them today.

Random Reader Things

Today’s random reader things are from GP Cox at Pacific Paratrooper. Months ago when I was preparing to start this serial, I asked GP to give me some kickoff sets of things.  One of the first items he mentioned was cave (episode 1).  In a roundabout way, that cave led me to the Calutron Girls and Oak Ridge, TN.  Now we’re getting back to the cave, so it’s fitting that another set of things from GP fueled this chapter: stopwatch, hurricane lamp, and sledgehammer.

Mushrooms blue Tim Price
Blue Mushrooms by Tim Price

Previously in The Armadillo Files

Somebody somewhere messed around with history. Fang started fading in and out of existence. Going back in time to 1877, Dilly and Fang met another operative, Henry Apesly.  They figured out that a bad case of love at first sight caused Henry to change the timeline, and Fang’s ancestor died instead of Henry’s beloved. The trio set out for Sweetwater, Tennessee and the Lost Sea, in search of the Time Manatees.  Can they set things straight?  You can find all the past chapters by going to the categories on the right side of the screen.  Click on Armadillo Files.

All aboard!

23 — Shall we go looking for mushrooms?

Mushrooms in the yard Tim Price
Mushrooms in the yard by Tim Price

Dilly

Hearing yummy sounds behind me, I turned to see Fang on hands and knees.  He moved around some leaves and was about to pick some pretty mushrooms.

“Leave those alone, Fang.  They’re toadstools, not mushrooms.  They’re poison,” I warned him.

A sick look went across his face.  He got up and dusted bits of leaves from his blue jeans.

Silhouetted by sunlight from the cave’s opening, Henry rummaged for something.  Fang asked what he was doing, and Henry muttered about matches.

“Do you mean to tell me that you have contraband books, but you don’t have a flashlight?” Fang snarked.

“Ah!” Henry exclaimed as he produced a hurricane lamp.  “Now, where are the matches?”

In a moment, light bloomed from the lamp.  Apesly touched a spot on the cave wall, and the slab of rock rumbled to conceal the opening.

I shivered, thinking about being closed up in that cave.

“It’s okay, Dilly.  I’ve been here before.  Although it was in a different when,” Fang tried to reassure me.  “Try to relax.  We have to get our heads in the right place if we’re going to see the manatees.”

“Fang, I’m a botanist not a biologist, but I’m from Florida.  I know that manatees have to live in the water,” I reminded him.  “Sorry.  I don’t mean to be snippy.  I know you aren’t well.  This place is making me really uncomfortable.”

“Oh, there’s plenty of water.  You’ll see,” Henry said with a chuckle as he led us on a downward sloping path.  “Hey Pinky, have you seen Thor’s hammer yet?  You weren’t looking, were you?” he added on an annoyed sigh.  “It’s okay.  Just hang in there.”

“You aren’t the only one with contraband,” Fang muttered as he searched his pockets.

Pixabay
Pixabay

Fang brought out a penlight.  He pointed the light, so show all the cave walls.  Muttering about having gone too far, he backtracked a few paces.  However, he shrugged and rejoined us.

We continued behind Henry.  After a moment, Fang pointed the light and exclaimed.  I examined a drawing on the cave wall.  It was a petroglyph of a sledgehammer.

“There’s Thor’s hammer.  It’s pointing to the left,” Fang remarked and Henry grunted.

They both felt up and down the wall.  Fang mumbled about “found it,” and grabbed a stalagmite.  Although, based on his groans, finding whatever it was didn’t do the trick.  Fang was the taller of the two.  I didn’t think Henry could reach it.  Although I didn’t take into account, Henry’s oddly long arms.  He stretched and together they managed to push a stalagmite to one side.

Once again, a slab of stone moved, but this time it shifted and turned.  It reminded me of the turning bookcase in a horror movie.  Henry and Fang disappeared.

They had both lights with them!  I suppressed a scream, left alone in the total darkness of the cave.  A second later the rock made a half turn.  Fang stuck his head out and grinned.

“Don’t just stand there, Dilly.  Come on,” he told me as if I had dawdled.

I didn’t see what Henry did, but suddenly light shone from every nook and cranny.  The lights were small and gentle, but there were so many that it was easy to see.

Stepping into the hidden chamber, I gasped.  A vast underground lake stretched before me.  A trout jumped into the air and splashed back into the lake.  The sound echoed.  Henry muttered about dinner and smacked his lips.

Apesly took a stopwatch from his trouser pocket.  He pressed the buttons and the clock started ticking.  It seemed loud in the silence.  He looked gravely at Fang and me.

“We only have a few hours to summon the Time Manatees.  Otherwise, they’ll assume that we’re indigenous lifeforms who have stumbled into this place accidentally,” he stated.

Lost Sea fish
Lost Sea

I turned to Fang in confusion.  He nodded.  Then he began shining that penlight into corners and shadows.  I asked what he hoped to find.

“We have to get on the right mental frequency to call the Time Manatees.  Oh, there it is!” he cried in glee, illuminating a shaggy growth with long dangling spines.

Hericium erinaceus.  That’s a lion’s mane mushroom,” I began.  “Or at least I think it is.  I’ve never seen one that color.  Fang, wait!”

Fang broke off a handful of the shaggy parts and stuffed them into his mouth.  He passed some to Henry, who ate them happily.

Lion’s mane should be edible, but I wasn’t familiar with that particular kind.  Henry laughed with his mouth full.  Disgusting as that was, he put my fear at ease.

“You’re right that these aren’t ordinary lion’s mane mushrooms,” he started, wiping his mouth on his sleeve.  “They really do have to be used carefully.  But they’re the quickest way to get on the same frequency as the Time Manatees.”

“Here, Dilly.  It will be a show of respect if you eat at least a little.  Although the manatees probably won’t be offended if you’re not in tune.  You’re just a regular human,” Fang said as he held out the fringy fungi.

The ticking of the stopwatch seemed loud in the vast cave.  Henry moved to the edge of the lake.  A trout jumped from the water again.  Henry’s arm appeared to stretch far over the water as he caught the fish with his bare hands.  Fang’s pink hair glowed.  His armadillo tail swung out, keeping time with the tick of the stopwatch.

Or maybe it was just the mushrooms.

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Brown Mushrooms by Shonen Knife

Now I’m starting to wonder about those Time Manatees, if magic mushrooms have to be used to “get on their frequency.”  Do we anybody at this point?  Tune in for more next weekend. 

♦♦♦

Elsewhere in the Teagan-verse,

I know that I keep saying “coming soon,” but I’m still working on “Dead of Winter: Journey 13,” doing the best I can to climb over the mounds of PTSD.  

Hugs on the wing!

 The history, particularly military aspects of this story probably make it difficult… However, this story isn’t really about religion or politics. So, please remember that this is my sanctuary — a place for all of us to be safe and away from political and religious commentary.  Kindly keep that in mind with your comments.

♦♦♦

Journey 12 of Dead of Winter is now available.  

Dead of Winter — All the Journeys

DoW 13 Harbor

 

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This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2021 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved. 

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.

 


82 thoughts on “The Armadillo Files, Episode 23 — Featuring Mushrooms, and GP Cox too

  1. Hi Teagan, now I have a better understanding of what happened to Fang. What an exciting episode, and I enjoyed the dark cave, the lake, and the mushrooms even though I don’t like them. 🙂 I hope you’re feeling better. And thanks again for mentioning my book in your recent post. Take good care. Sending comforting hugs your way. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I liked this Teagan …
    “Here, Dilly. It will be a show of respect if you eat at least a little. Although the manatees probably won’t be offended if you’re not in tune. You’re just a regular human,” Fang said as he held out the fringy fungi.

    … my Mum would tell us that when you’re offered something to eat or drink, have even a little as a sign of respect! Does Dilly the regular human partake? So many different types of mushrooms.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy Family Day, Another good episode, You are amazing. I guess I have said this before, but I am still glad that Fang is still around! ! A very amazing story, thank you. I believe we still have another chapter!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ms. Frances, I’m so happy that Fang has a friend in you. That’s right. This serial is not over yet. Whatever happens with the Time Manatees might “cure” Fang’s problem, but there’s still the issue of the missing Calutron Girls. 🙂 I hope you had a nice Family Day. Hugs on the wing.

      Like

  4. I am caught up again, Teagan, and enjoying the story! The Time Manatees sound like fascinating creatures, and a nice addition to the cast of characters.

    Have a wonderful week ahead, Teagan and Crystal! We are plunging back into some colder weather here, possibly snow this week.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Back in the 70s my school was famous (infamous) for some of its students study of happy mushrooms- stuck away in what we call the New Forest it was quite the scandal. I only have vague memories of that time…. nice chapter Teagan. Lets see what those ‘shrooms do to the trio…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This was fun, Teagan 🙂 I’d love to run across that cave. Sound like it will be interesting to meet up with the mantees now after the mushrooms. My son loves everything mushrooms, and now my husband drink mushroom coffee and loves it. I’m the holdout not liking mushrooms other than to take pictures of them. I hope you get over that hump soon… sending lots of hugs xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Denise. I’m so happy you enjoyed it. Mushroom coffee??? I have not heard of that, and I admit that I cringe at the thought. I’d try it. I do have a sense of culinary adventure. But I do cringe. 😀
      Today I made big progress with Journey 13. One more careful pass and it’s ready to go! Woot!
      Hugs winging back to you. ❤

      Like

  7. What a wonderful and also very teaching episode, Teagan! Thanks a lot! Personally i am saving the nature, and let the mushrooms, and anything looking like them on their places. Lol I had some experiences with an aunt. In the past, during my childhood she thought to offer us tons of mushrooms, After some week of mushroom dishes i sweared myself never again eating at least these kind of mushrooms. Have a beautiful rest of the weekend, and excuse the late visit. Best wishes, Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha. I get tired of any food if I have to eat it too often, Michael. My father insisted on pinto beans being served for dinner at least five nights a week. By the time I was an adult, I couldn’t stand the sight of them. I didn’t eat or cook them for many years.
      Have a wonderful new week. Big hugs!

      Like

  8. I love the mushroom focus here, Teagan. When I was sick with COVID, a friend dropped some Chaga Mushrooms off on my doorstep and I firmly believe that is what got me well so quickly. I’m sold on the benefits of mushrooms. But I digress. Great episode with so much great descriptive narrative. Hang in there, my dear! I finished Journey 12 so am finally caught up! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I like the mysterious cave, the mushrooms, and that underground sea. Time manatees too. Lol. You’re so creative. I grew lion’s mane mushrooms over the winter, Teagan, (from a kit my daughter gave me for Christmas). I had no idea they might have unusual or supernatural powers! 🙂 A fun post. Have a lovely weekend and Happy Writing, my friend. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Fun with mushrooms. I’m happy you made good use of the photo. I could never thrust myself to tell the difference between mushrooms and toadstools. Great episode. Have you thought about getting a bit of psychedelic mushrooms prescribed? I read that small amounts of psychedelics and LSD are being used for therapy and to increase productivity. “Flowers and beads are one thing, but having…” magic mushrooms ins another! Paraphrase from Iron Butterfly’s “Flowers and Beads”. Oh! I almost forgot! What a fun video. How did you come up with that treasure?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Tim. That is what got me interested in lion’s mane mushrooms — I was looking for a supplement (not just mushrooms) that might help with anxiety and turned up a lot about mushrooms. That particular one seemed most likely — although I can’t really see any benefit from it. Different supplements help different people. I also found a lot about the turkey tail variety — sounds very healthful, but not really for anxiety.
      Glad you liked the video. I knew there must be several songs with mushroom in the lyric, so that’s what I searched. I had never heard of the group or the song. There are several versions of it, but that one had better sound and video quality.
      Thanks again for use of the photos, and for reading and commenting. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 2 people

  11. I hope the lion’s mane mushrooms do the trick. Fang and Henry certainly enjoyed them! The “Lost Sea” is beautiful.

    Dilly seems to be lost in the shuffle this week. Can’t wait to meet the Time Manatees! We need Fang back to his old self.
    Ginger

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Teagan, I agree with all of the comments so far–this is a superior episode and that is really saying something. Time Manatees, seem like such a natural, but only you could create them. I love how you used GP’s words and created Thor’s hammer out of sledgehammer. Healing hugs enveloping your today.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. This episode was the best thing to read as I start the day. I love the setting and I can picture them gobbling the mushrooms. I hope they’re all in tune for the manatees. I was scared for Dilly for a moment when she was in the dark cave. I’m glad you didn’t leave us there.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I appreciate that good feedback, Dan. I wrote this one so fast yesterday afternoon, that I didn’t pay as much attention to whether I was hitting all the targets I usually give myself. I’m happy to know that you were in the moment with Dilly. I hope you have a relaxing weekend. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Really? How cool! I had never seen or heard of that kind until I started looking for a new supplement for anxiety (not just mushrooms). Unfortunately they haven’t done anything. But if I ever see them to eat, I’ll certainly give it a try. Thanks for that feedback, Carol. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Reblogged this on Just Olga and commented:
    Teagan Geneviene​’s Armadillo Files reach episode 23, and we have mysterious caves, magic (?) mushrooms, manatees, and… If you want to discover it, you have to hold on tight and join the adventure!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Beautiful pics, Teagan, as Cindy says. I have no idea where the story is going, but I knew I was in for a wild ride. I keep thinking of Ali Baba’s cave… Thanks for keeping the magic alive, Teagan!

    Liked by 2 people

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