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Find a COVID-conscious mushroom friend in the forest? It probably came from Ivy Herron.

Posted at 5:50 PM, Jan 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-28 20:49:42-05

LANSING, MI — When you're taking a walk through the parks in Ingham County, you never really know what you might stumble across.

You could find a nice looking rock or maybe one of the tiny mushroom paintings Ivy Herron has hidden.

“It’s a hidden human thing in a place that is largely natural and organic," said Herron, a special education teacher with the Lansing School District.

In her spare time, she's an artist. She's in a group in Lansing called The Artist's Umbrella that's trying to connect to the community with art.

And she loves mushrooms.

“I like to go out and find them outside and look at art that has mushrooms in it," Herron said.

Herron says she had a couple of small canvases and just decided to paint tiny little mushrooms guys one day.

Those little mushroom guys turned into a serious of "COVID-conscious" mushrooms during the lockdown last year.


“Because we’re in COVID I was like, 'Well he needs a mask or gloves or something,'" Herron said. "It just kind of developed as I’ve been working in shutdown.”

One day, she decided to hide them for fun while she was out and figured people could find them.

“Art and nature walking. They do have their connections. But you wouldn’t expect to see a painting when you’re out in the woods," Herron said.

She did a couple and then forgot about them, she said. Then she received a message from someone.

“They were like, 'Oh my gosh, I found this. I was having a really bad day. I decided to go for a walk and I found this painting and it made my day,'" Herron said.

That message encouraged her to keep hiding the paintings. She even started leaving a message on the back for those who find them.


“It has my Instagram scan thing, and it says 'a tiny hidden COVID-conscious friend hidden just for you, Scan and send me a message and let me know you’ve found it,' Herron said. "And there’s a place to write the date and you can keep or re-hide it.”

Herron says she's hidden about 75 of them since the fall and received a few positive messages. Not everyone has responded and she says that's OK.

She hopes that more people will stumble across them while they are enjoying nature.

"I always think it's cool when I find something interesting in the woods that I didn't see from when I was just walking," Herron said. "The whole idea that curiosity should be rewarded I like that."

You find out where she is hiding these paintings on her Instagram.

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