Saturday, July 4, 2009

Mystery Tops

The first ones were round and brown and speckled on top, shiny domes of many sizes, ranging from half-apple to half-cherry, but always a shade of brown. Then the domes flattened and lightened, and turned up at the edges to reveal provocative ruffly petticoats underneath, like the starched net can-cans of my childhood, or the skirts of flamenco dancers. Today, more have emerged from different places on the pile, each outcrop a different variety, color, shape, and size. One species has bright red caps that look straight out of a fairy story---one, tall thin furry fingers---another, flat yellow table tops set with wart-like tea cups. From where doth the energy come that maketh them to grow---these startling mushrooms on the woodchip pile? And how do they come by their unique designs? I assume by natural selection, but wonder for what purpose. If it is only to decompose the woodchips, why the lovely tops? The birds and squirrels touch them not, and nobody nocturnal has eaten them, even those born days ago. If not for food, what worth their beauty? It is likely relevant to regenerating their own kind, but even that would not require gorgeous array. Sometimes it causes me to wonder . . . . dkm

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