Gift #1024: Turkey Tails

This weekend my mom and I were able to spend some time at Eagle Creek park again.  The weather for the past few days has been perfect and we were both keen to spend some time outside enjoying the late summer season.  It has been a long time since we were there last, and it feels even longer than the calendar said it had.  And I desperately needed to have some time in the woods or I felt like I was going to fall apart.  We walked in an area of the park we hadn’t been for a while and enjoyed the quiet, the green, and the trees.  Next time I see them, they will be flushed with autumn’s tones (and I really can’t wait for that!).  But for right now most of the forest is still delightfully green.


It’s funny how each time something different catches the eye.  I wasn’t even consciously aware of this, but my photos were full of tree trunks covered in turkey tails.  This polypore mushroom is ubiquitous throughout the world and is one of the most common fungi in my area.  I really enjoy their common name, because the striated colors do really resemble turkey tails.  Every set you’ll find is unique – almost like a fingerprint – with endless variation in the colors, thickness and number of stripes, and size.

imageI love the way they provide such character for the decaying logs and make them look quite fanciful.  They also have practical application; for they’ve long been used in traditional Chinese medicine.  There have been studies involving the use of turkey tails to combat cancer and inflammation quite recently too.  I had no idea!

imageA couple of years ago at Spring Mill I became fascinated by all the turkey tails growing in the forest and thought that they would make brilliant inspiration for a crescent-shaped shawl.  The idea has further merit because my favorite hues of brown, green, and cream, and sometimes even pale pink, are in turkey tails.  Imagine designing such a beautiful thing right from nature!  Trying my hand at designing knit patterns is definitely on my bucket list, though right now I still find the idea daunting.  Designing requires a lot of trial and error and the thought of ripping out knitting makes me horrified.  However, with such lovely inspiration, I think I could be persuaded to try.

imageI hope inspiration and beauty is all around you this weekend.

Blessings to you,


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1 Response to Gift #1024: Turkey Tails

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    What a coincidence, I was just listening to a video last night about the health attributes of turkey tails. I want to learn how to use them, as our woods are full of them. More blessings!

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