Wisdom Begins In Wonder

Tremella fuciformis, a photo by pixygiggles on Flickr.

It’s been an interesting day. Yesterday afternoon, I was contacted by a chemical engineer with an interest in medicinal mushrooms who works at the University of Applied Sciences Weihenstephan in Germany about using this photo in a publication he’s working on “about this special use of fungi.” Now, maybe, this just shows what a complete geek I am; but I found this completely fascinating! And when it comes to one of my obsessions, i.e. anything in the natural world, of course, I’m going to say “yes” to what I consider such a special request. I’m simply grateful that I have the opportunity to contribute to something that sparks my curiosity in such a passionate way.

I took this photo a couple of years ago (June 23, 2011) while hiking with David’s niece at City Lake Natural Area here in Cookeville. We had experienced some heavy rains at the time and decided to hike out to the waterfall. We had absolutely no idea what this was when we ran across the fallen tree branch at the side of the trail. Neither of us had ever seen anything like it. Hopefully, Zenia will forgive me for publishing this video; but it makes me laugh every time I think of that day and her saying, “Jiggly.” Too funny not to share!

Later, I found out this odd, gelatinous fungus is called Tremella fuciformis (commonly known as snow fungus, silver ear fungus, and white jelly mushroom). Many thanks to the people over at Project Noah for helping me ID it. Oddly enough, there appears to be several uses for this species of fungus, including medicinally and in cuisine, of all things. I don’t know about anybody else, but I don’t think I could eat anything that looks like that! Eww. ;P

Realizing that I hadn’t published this previously prompted this post. Realizing that I had failed to upload a number of other photos relating to mushrooms and fungi prompted me to create a new set on Flickr titled simply: Mushrooms & Fungi, for anyone who shares my fascination with this sort of thing.

One of these days, I’ll get caught up with all the posts I have postponed due to lack of motivation; but hey, life happens when you least expect it. I apologize for the vagueness of that statement. I seem to be fighting through a pretty hefty bout of depression and anxiety. However, I trust the support system I have at this time, small (in number of people) as it may be to get me through this.

And Jürgen, I thank you sincerely for the boost to my self-confidence that gave me the motivation to write this post. Until next time:

Wisdom begins in wonder. ~ Socrates

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3 thoughts on “Wisdom Begins In Wonder

  1. Hi Patricia!
    I love this post! And I went to your flickr site and studied all the images. It’s a wonderful collection! I, too, love to take photos of fungi! Have you ever seen Indian Pipe? It fascinates me. And it lasts not much more than 24 hours, I think. Here’s the link to a post I put on my SilverLining site in 2008:
    http://www.silverlining-marymcavoy.com/2008/07/mushrooms.html
    While the images in that post don’t show the most exotic pictures I’ve taken of mushrooms, it does show you you’re not the only geek for wild-growing mushrooms.
    One year we had a lot of rain and humidity and they were everywhere. I was fascinated and would spend hours in a day wandering around and photographing them. Some are gorgeous and others are nearly horrifying to look at! I’ve never seen the jiggly kind!
    Thanks for a great post!
    PS I think depression is in the air this year. I’m not inclined that way typically, but this winter I have had spells of really being down. It’s not a good feeling. I’m waiting and hoping with spring’s arrival I’m back to my sunny disposition! I know for sure that I feel better when I get out for long, brisk walks. That hasn’t happened much this winter, as it’s been way too cold. Hope you’re feeling better soon. PPS About a year ago, I had terrible anxiety. I’ve always had some, but this was over the top. I was under a lot of pressure at the time, but it kind of unnerved me, the intense anxiety. Come to find out, my blood pressure had changed dramatically and was spiking into some really high numbers! Once I was on medication for a couple of months (to address the blood pressure) I felt SO much better. Just a thought…you might want to be sure your bp is okay.

    1. I had never heard of Indian pipe, so I had to look it up. Wow! That is a very cool plant, looks like something out of a sci-fi flick. I found it so fascinating that I spent nearly an hour reading about it and looking at pictures. This link: http://www.sierrapotomac.org/W_Needham/Indian_Pipe_100405.htmv had the most extensive information about the mycorrhizal relationship (something I had never heard of before) between the plant and the fungus it requires to grow. Fascinating, indeed! Thanks for mentioning that one. 🙂

      I love your mushroom photos, especially that first one. (And now I want to watch ‘Fantasia’ again, lol.) That’s pretty special that you captured photos of it before and after spore release. The damselfly made me giggle because it reminded me of the American Rubyspot Damselflies that followed me around at Cummins Falls (https://pixygiggles.wordpress.com/2013/09/22/celebrating-the-autumn-equinox/). I would swear they’re as curious of us as we are of them.

      I’m sorry to hear you’ve been down. I miss my brisk walks during the wintertime, too. They certainly do make all the difference in the world. You’re probably right, I really should schedule a complete physical. Thanks for the comment, Mary!

      1. Thanks for the link about Indian Pipe! I’ve just read it. The first time I saw it, I thought I’d stumbled upon the parallel universe of forest fairies! In the linked article you shared, they use the word “ethereal” in describing it. That’s how it struck me. I couldn’t believe my eyes! I hope you have the chance to see it someday.

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