Oak Leaves on Bolete Cap

I came on this 8” diameter bicolor bolete one August day. I was struck not only by its size, but by the adhering leaves on its yellow and red cap.  Beyond that, I see untold stories.  I imagine this mushroom’s origins, beneath the forest floor, waiting for the right moment…pushing up through the leaf litter, its sticky cap gathering leaves as it emerges. A slug and a small rodent have snacked on it.  Cracks speak to a lack of recent rain and aging. Look closely at the interplay of the leaf remnants and the cap…shapes appear. For me, this image is about beauty in the overlooked, change, and the web of life.