"Follow your obsessions," a writer said, or probably many writers have said. And for a few months now I have been obsessed with mushroom houses. I'm not high. I don't eat that many mushrooms, magic or otherwise.

I think it started when I discovered, via a now-forgetten series of random links, the photography of "Mister Mushroom." This guy photographs bright colored miniature sets staged with figurines--Moomin Valley, Totoro, gnomes, mushrooms, and other fanciful flora and fauna. His whimsy returned me to childhood and my once sincere belief in gnomes, thanks to a gullible mind, indulgent grandma, and the encyclopedic book "Gnomes." I'd curled up for hours as if it were the Bible. Replete with maps, statistics, tales of encounter, and detailed drawings, the book read like a nonfiction for this seven year old. (I watched the "Smurfs" in those days too, who of course reside in mushroom houses.)

I wouldn't mind being a child again for a moment, believing that if I opened the door to one of these houses, I could step in...