Friday, September 4, 2009

Mushrooms After Rain

Half-circle shelves of orange and brown mushrooms grow from the base of the trunk of the pinetree behind the swing where I sit. I pried one off to examine it more closely. It's heavier than it looks. How little I know about mushrooms jars me.

These look to be growing out of the tree, but on closer inspection, they grow from their own center trunk anchored in the ground, like a pedestal table. The table top is a half-circle only because one side of it is blocked by the tree trunk. The surface of the top is ringed like the top of a tree stump, the difference being that the rings are furry and wavy. The outermost ring is bright orange and looks a little like the edge of a pancake---a furry wavy ringed pancake, the underneath side of which is a solid mass of orange brain-like or intestine-like rubbery tissue---but miniscule and dry. My next big purchase must be a good microscope.

Of all the surprises of nature, mushrooms inspire in me the most wonder---symbolic of all I do not understand. Always they beg the same questions. Why their grotesque beauty? Why have they thus evolved? Why the intricacies of design? Why the variety? What secrets hide under their skins? Whence cometh their energy? dkm

1 comment:

Pukeko G said...

Great questions Omi .. Did you get a photo ?