Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Ode to Spring

It is the end of the rainy season here in northern California. Although I am primed for the sun, I must pay my respects to the fungal kingdom for all its hard work these last five months.

O Fungus
Without you
we would be swimming in our own poop.

This little specimen is a cup fungus of some sort, maybe Otidea Alutacea, maybe not. Fungi are steadfastly mysterious when it comes to identification. Partially this has to do with the absurd lack of funds for mycology; there is not a single academic post for Mushroom Studies in the United States, even though only a small percentage of species have been given scientific names. Most of the other academic mycologists secure their funding by investigating ways to kill fungi on genetically-altered corn, which as we know, is crucial to the big picture of paving the world in corn products.

Then there is the mysterious, shape-shifting nature of fungi itself, which makes plain how arbitrary the concept of "species" really is. Fungi also perform helpful tasks for the ecosystem-at-large like detoxifying soil that has been radioactively contaminated.

In short, mushrooms are smarter than the average pile of poop. They are also sexy. Otherwise, how does this little cup mushroom manage to fruit in a pile of wood chips looking like it could inspire a Georgia O'Keefe painting?
So, thank you Fungus Kingdom. Good work.

Now maybe it will stop raining so I can get on with my life.


Megatron said...

It looks sorta like rose bouquet-antimatter. Nice work, G_d...ya freak. Also, w/regard to the corn products and "Why do we need vending machines in our lives"-angle from last time, I just thought I'd mention what comedian Mitch Hedberg (RIP, baby) used to say about it: "Snacks taste better when they fall from a distance of three feet. When I buy a candy bar in a store, I will often drop it before eating it." Thanks, DreamCrisp. Keep on with the shroom dharmy.

Sweet Scurvenson said...

DreamCrisp! How could you? This photograph is clearly a hoax! Nothing this billowy and moist could've possibly blossomed up from the earth. I suspect that your latex F/X crew has been at it again, dreaming up new shams of academic terrorism. Nice try, DreamCrisp, but the people cannot - nay, WILL NOT - be easily duped. You cannot - I repeat- cannot bull-crap a bull-crap artist, my friend. You & I both know the truth: This photo is a phony. A dream within a dream. Wrapped in plastic. Hey, no hard feelings. I too know the importance of a well-placed lie. But it does make me wonder: What is the grammatical/etymological equivalent of a mushroom?