Friday, September 08, 2006

Fungus Humungus Amongus - Part I

There is a tree in our yard that has been dying for, oh, say 20 years or more. For the last three years it has exhibited the strangest growth, that of a giant fungus, growing out of its side like some kind of appendage.

There is something innately repulsive, yet also beautiful, about it.

Here you can see how the rainwater has pooled in the nexus, reflecting the side of our house in the background.

Here is an interesting definition of this type of growth, from the 2006 edition of the venerable Random House Unabridged Dictionary,
"any of a diverse group of eukaryotic single-celled or multinucleate organisms that live by decomposing and absorbing the organic material in which they grow, comprising the mushrooms, molds, mildews, smuts, rusts, and yeasts, and classified in the kingdom Fungi or, in some classification systems, in the division Fungi (Thallophyta) of the kingdom Plantae."

I really like the word "multinucleate" and will be attempting to work it into casual conversations over the next few days. I am also intrigued by the notion of the Kingdoms of Fungi and Plantae.

Soon I will offer a follow-up post showing a very unusual form of art using fungi as its basis.

Listening To: "SONGLINES" by The Derek Trucks Band


Rick Lee said...

Interesting... is that water collecting on the top of it?

Barry Pike said...

Yes, it is rainwater. And thanks for noticing, Rick. I'm a big fan of your work.