Mycelium Running

Mushroomed – An Ode to the Fungi

Mushroomed mushrooms are talking!
[Source – Pixabay]

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Little umbrellas, soft buddies beaming in damp, dark sites

In the jungle, have more to say, they’re saying now

Through the wood wide web, the underground kites

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Fungi flies, less on whim, on purpose more, humble and old

Hyphen hyphae, thready threads, join the words spoken

By a baby plant and those tall giant trees old

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Together, symbiotic, altruistic, in harmony and love with growth

Of one and all; living, dying, killing like the Armillaria

Its dear host trees, devouring forests, sailing forth

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Layering layered humus, rich, fertile, full with nutrients timely

Rejuvenating the drunken dull poisonous air

Feeding on persistent toxins, stubborn plastic finely

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Breaking, storing carbon in the soil, toiling freely, fungi

And friends mineralise earth, unburdening it quietly

“Decomposing since one billion years“, said fossils of fungi

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Its fruits – mushrooms – mushroom pleasantly,

Well aware of the change hitting the planet

And the mighty meets, sees the ground, underground naturally

There the mycelia run, binding all in one

Showing, nicely, what is to be done.

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Oyster mushroom mycelium growing in a petri dish on coffee grounds.
[Source – Wikimedia Commons]

Fungi marched onto land more than a billion years ago. Many fungi partnered with plants, which largely lacked these digestive juices. Mycologists believe that this alliance allowed plants to inhabit land around 700 million years ago. Many millions of years later, one evolutionary branch of fungi led to the development of animals.

― Paul Stamets, Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World

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A group of elongated cells (hyphae) from the filamentous fungus Podospora anserina.
[Source – Wikimedia Commons]

I see the mycelium as the Earth’s natural Internet, a consciousness with which we might be able to communicate. Through cross-species interfacing, we may one day exchange information with these sentient cellular networks. Because these externalized neurological nets sense any impression upon them, from footsteps to falling tree branches, they could relay enormous amounts of data regarding the movements of all organisms through the landscape.

― Paul Stamets, Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World

Watch these short clips and be amazed –

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Read more about our – neither plants nor animals – friends, the fungi –

A Billion-Year-Old Fungus May Hold Clues to Life’s Arrival on Land

The Untapped Potential of the Amazon’s Plastic-Eating Mushroom

Soil Carbon Sequestration and its Relationship with Climate Change

Benefits of Fungi for the Environment and Humans


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