PHOTO PROMPT © David Stewart
The tumor can no longer be ignored. Queen Amanita pulses out via Mycelium Highway, OM-ing: Another Stupid Human Alert! Help!
Chitin jurisdictions call kibbutzes. Within an hour, the Oysters, who are well-known altruists, bzz back that they will step up, even though they know it means their disconnect from the net and containment. Oyster spores eject into the airstream. In a matter of days, they’ve converged on Chernobyl, where they build a vast outpost to absorb radioactivity.
Humans, though dense, notice. Mycologists’ gauges tell the story. Clay vaults are prepared. Generation after generation entombs itself for our dear Mother Gaia.
Amanita = a kind of mushroom that has been depicted most often in cultural images
mycelium = threadlike hairs underground that network, communicate with, feed, etc. parts of some fungi
chitin = the substance that makes up the cell wall of mushrooms; it’s the same stuff that builds the exoskeletons of insects
kibbutz = in this story, a gathering/meeting
oysters = a kind of mushroom
spores = reproductive dust sent out from the gills of some mushrooms
mycologists = scientists whose specialty is fungi
The National Botanic Gardens of Ireland has been putting on some really interesting live meetings through eventbrite that they also record and post later on youtube. The one I watched live this morning was on our cousins, the fungi. Did you know that fungi are our closest living kingdom of relatives, much closer than plants. There was a way to ask questions of the presenter in the chat box. My question was about whether mushrooms could be used to neutralize radioactivity in the soil. The answer is no, but oyster mushrooms will take the radioactivity up in their bodies and out of the soil; they can be then placed in a protective vault away from harming other life. That’s just one tidbit of the very informative presentation.
I’m including a couple of links the presenter gave:
One is where they are turning fungi into leather: mycoworks.com
One is where they turn fungi into an alternative to styrofoam: ecovativedesign.com
Update on 4/22/21: The video is now up at youtube. Check it out here.
Rochelle Wisoff-Fields is the gracious host of Friday Fictioneers.