Saturday, February 05, 2005

A Case for Aesthetic Pleasure from Fungus

You know, people always pick flowers for each other to give for friends, relatives, or as a romantic gesture. We all think they're cute, sentimental, "nice" la la. But how often do we stop to marvel the beauty of a fungus? Lively with growth and so fragile, you just want to reach out and touch them. They come in so many shapes and sizes and textures, thin and papery or fat and gooshy, filled with explosive puffballs or red and phallic.

I find the dogstinkhorn to be an especially erotic fungus. Its redness is passionately intense, and frankly you just can't have a more handsome fungus than that.

In the olden days, I used to find almost hard white fungus in the shape of plates sticking out of the sides of the trees, like these. This jolly delight would hit me from a distance, spotting what looked like a natural spiral staircase, with little steps, and no handles of course. What was it? Marshmallows growing on the tree? No, FUNGUS!! Then I collected them, they were always good to me. I wouldn't encourage people to hurt trees by ripping their bark off, I did that in my reckless youth, but if we decapitate roses all the time, why not fungi?

Fungus works with so many things, it can become a part of you in many forms including Athletes foot. It can hide in a towel. It is an ingenius little thing, interacting and consuming bacteria like cattle do grass. That's why I feel like the fungus character is something the really likes certain things very much, and it quickly becomes intimate with that thing to the point where it feeds off of that thing but then varies and evolves through cycles on its own. How symbiotic.

The Lioness had a beautiful picture of pink fungus on a mossy tree, but now she has another picture of a lovable pink friend, promoting his
flakes.

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