Decay, rot, compost, or any other word for the changes that happen in the woods for after-life breakdown; if you want to roam the woods or delve into the garden, you’ll have to get used to it. There will be no way to avoid it. The mulch or leaf litter you step on was living material not too long ago.
A few years ago, I had a surfeit of planer shavings and nothing to do with them; I built a little ramp up to the pond’s edge to use it as a viewing and photographic vantage. I didn’t give it much thought afterward until today. There, where I had spread the shavings, was now an imposing array of a fungus called, around here, dead men’s fingers. White elongated and not too pretty. I’ve left the patch alone. I want to see how long the fingers get.
Later on the other side of the little hillock behind the waterfall, I found this little seed case. The wings had decayed over the winter, leaving only the original’s casing and stripped veins. All softer tissue had worn away, leaving this skeletal filigree.
I so often walk my woodland garden looking for flowers that I miss the frequently interesting results of how things transform in the woodlands.