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  • Writer's pictureClaire Baldwin

Exploring Maine's Magical Mushroom-scape

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

As a scientific illustrator, I'm awestruck by the biodiversity of the Maine woods.

I feel so grateful to live and make art in a state with such incredible natural beauty.

In summer, the mushrooms of the Maine woods are abundant and beautifully strange. I haven't felt as the same kind of joy since I was a kid on an easter egg hunt, my eyes peeled for every small flash of rainbow.

After a magical and mosquitoey hike at the Viles arboretum, I was eager to illustrate what I'd found.

There is no replacement for drawing from life.

So many details simply can't be captured by photos. I was enchanted by the subtle iridescence of the Ghost Pipe, the pink undertones in the coral fungi.

As I hurried to paint the mushrooms, weevils munched through mushroom's flesh. It was a race against time.

Arranging everyday items in rainbow order is certainly having a moment right now. It felt inevitable to do so with mushrooms. I'd love to create color wheels of wildflowers, native bees, cacti, birds, and so much more.

Biodiversity is magic.

So, more rainbow illustrations to come! What would you like to see arranged in rainbow order next? Let me know in the comments.

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