I was huffing and puffing at the end of my run under gray skies today when an odd glimmer of snowy white at my feet caught my eye.

Since I don't wear my glasses when I run, I had to stop to get a closer look. And my mouth curved in a smile at the most enchanting sight.

I had run by this same area as I headed out on the trail 40 minutes earlier but I obviously hadn't noticed the mushroom patch under the trees.

It looks like a scene out of a fairy tale, doesn't it? The mushrooms stand at least 10 inches if not more off the ground. Most have flat tops and there are some rounded caps. And that one in the front fascinates me. I have never seen a mushroom like that. It's amazing.

I must have stood there for two minutes just smiling at them, thinking if I waited long enough, surely the fairies would get used to me and come out to play.
And I wished I had a camera.

Well, duh. I had my iPhone strapped to my arm to listen to music. After several seconds wrestling control of the phone from its stretchy holder with my sweaty hands, I snapped a few pictures.

The character in my first story for Ellora's Cave, SEDUCED BY MAGIC, is an Italian folletta. A fairy complete with wings. Now, Scarlata wouldn't fit beneath these little beauties because she's human-sized but in my second story, SEDUCED IN SHADOW, I introduce the candelas, glowing little tinkerbelles and tinkerbeaus who glow like fireflies, have tiny wings and would have thought this patch had sprung up for their personal use.

Sometimes, it's the little things that make a gray day brighter.