I’ve visited the Blue Whale in Catoosa, Okla., literally dozens of times. But I’d never known about the existence of these things on the grounds until I saw this photo Saturday on the Blue Whale’s Twitter account:
Ron Edwards John Davis taking a break, one of the many Fins of the Blue Whale volunteers who are cleaning up the Blue Whale property, including the Ark.
Behind the Ark are 16 mushrooms in a circle, ranging from 3 to 5 feet tall, that Hugh Davis apparently built during the 1970s. Because it’s in a spot away from the Blue Whale and has been choked by underbrush for years, I didn’t know those mushrooms existed. Not many others knew about them, either.
According to volunteer Ron Edwards in an e-mail:
We’ve known about the shrooms since about September when Blaine and John gave me some photos to scan.
Naturally I asked about them and Blaine went and showed them to me and a couple of the Fins. From that point it was our goal to get them where people could at least see them from a distance until we got them refurbished. We intentionally waited until the ticks and snakes were not an issue to clear things out.
We’re also working toward clearing around the old snake corral and starting the clean out of the ARK. As well as trying to finish the Souvenir Shack by May 1st.
Our curiosity piqued, Emily (aka Redforkhippie) and I drove Sunday to the Blue Whale site to check out those mushrooms and see whether there were other obscure things for us to discover.
It’s a good thing the vegetation is winter-killed, or else traipsing through much of the grounds would have been nearly impossible. Going into thorny brush on uneven terrain isn’t recommended. Much of what we saw also is fenced off. We explored this so you wouldn’t have to.
First, we found this concrete octopus that was uncovered in the pond just behind the Blue Whale:
Then we found the mushrooms behind the Ark, many of which are still concealed by brush:
Near the mushrooms is the old snake pit, where Davis kept his scaly pets:
Then, of course, is the Ark. You can see the turnstile that once was used:
Edwards said a website dedicated to the Blue Whale, bluewhalecatoosa.com, should go live in the coming days.
Emily also blogged about the mushroom-hunting expedition on Sunday.