The Fungus Among Me…

 

We had a short dry spell on Tuesday so I decided to mow the lawn because it had become quite unruly. I had my camera in my pocket when I spotted these in the lawn.

 

So like any good blogger I got down on my knees and took some photos.

 

They are such interesting looking growths.

 

FUNGI IN ART AND LITERATURE

From time to time, fungal hyphae penetrate the consciousness of artists. In the work of medieval Flemish painters, toadstools were often associated with Hell. Victorian illustrators in England took a more benign view, and developed a popular style that linked fairies and toadstools. Elements of this connection persist today. The colourful spotted cap of Fly Agaric, often associated with a gnome or sprite, remains a favourite with children’s illustrators, designers, advertisers, and the manufacturers of kitsch garden ornaments. The psychedelic sixties, of course, generated a mass of artwork that owes its origins to fungus-induced creativity.

Down the ages, from Shakespeare to J.K. Rowling, fungi have also sprouted regularly in literature. Shakespeare seems to have had fungus in mind when he penned The Tempest. Prospero observes that it is elves’ pastime to “make midnight mushrooms,” and one scholar has suggested that the fits of Caliban show that he was suffering from ergot poisoning. In recent times it’s no surprise to find fungal references at “Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry’ in the Harry Potter stories.

Writers often turn to fungi when searching for a metaphor for decay or rottenness. Examples abound and can be found in the works of many great poets and authors, including Spenser, Shelley, Keats, Tennyson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, D.H. Lawrence, and Emily Dickinson. Raymond Briggs’ cartoon creation, Fungus the Bogeyman, a celebration of much that children like to find revolting continues the tradition.

The best known-and perhaps most inspired-literary mushroom of all is the one nibbled by Alice in her Adventures in Wonderland. Eating from one side of the mushroom makes her grow larger, eating from the other side makes her shrink. It’s possible that author Lewis Carroll knew of the properties of Fly Agaric. One effect of this hallucinogenic fungus is to make objects appear larger or smaller in the user’s eye.

ht: The source of this information can be found here.

Photobucket replaced all my photos with ugly black and grey boxes and they are holding my photos hostage until I pay them lots of money. I’m slowly going through all my posts and trying to clean them up and replacing some photos. Such a bother.

About Ellenhttp://I am a wife, mother, baba (grandmother) and a loyal friend. Jesus is my King and my hope is in my future with Him.

13 thoughts on “The Fungus Among Me…

  1. Fascinating. I never knew. Thanks for sharing. 🙂 great photos as well. I don’t know if I am a good blogger cuz well…hands and knees for this? LOL. Kidding. I probably would. 🙂

  2. It’s been perfect ‘fungi weather’ this spring…though a little damp for other things in the garden. You really got ‘up close and personal’. Good shots!

  3. Fun pictures. If I did that, I might not be able to get back up! Well, maybe if I crawl to something sturdy first then pull myself up to a stand. Then people would really think I am weird if they witness that!

  4. Oh good for the great factoids on fungi! You know how us librarian types dig that sort of thing. Also so glad to see proof that I am not the only one to kneel at the sight of a mushroom. I have been known to lay my camera flat on the ground to get that “under the skirt” look-see. Most interesting to me was to catch the mushroom as it emerged from the ground and then as it opened a few hours later. Amazing how big a tiny button can get. Still looking for a reliable mushroom identification book as I’d like to try to eat some of them…safely that is.

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