I'm not talking about giant mushrooms or slimy fungi attacking innocent folks out in the woodlands. I'm talking about making Fungi a sentient being with a neural-network that spans the globe. Imagine the fun Doctor Who would have with that one!
|mushrooms are the fruiting body of the mycellium|
|Boy is there a huge mycellium network under this fairy ring of meadow mushrooms|
Pretty cool isn't it! But, even my over developed imagination cannot make these wonderful organisms the bad guys. They are far from bad. They are indispensable to life on this planet. Fungi are nature's decomposers and recyclers. Along with bacteria, they are responsible for returning decaying material to the soil in a simpler usable forms ~ nitrogen and carbon. Without them we would soon be covered over with dead plant and animal remains. Not a pretty sight at all.
|Edible Auricularia auricula/Jelly Ear growing on dead hardwood branch|
|It's an irreplaceable part of the organic web of life|
|Fruiting bodies of turkey tail, Trametes versicolor.|
|Jelly Ears growing on a decaying oak limb at Clay and Limestone|
You don't have to be a mycologist to appreciate fungi, you just have to be curious, look closely and remember, they're everywhere and communicating with one another!
Paul Stamets on TED Talks
I do not yet know why plants come out of the land or float in streams, or creep on rocks or roll from the sea. I am entranced by the mystery of them, and absorbed by their variety and kinds. Everywhere they are visible yet everywhere occult (veiled or hidden). Liberty Hyde Bailey
Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone."