Posts Tagged ‘life’

Nature Ramble

An excursion involving all of the senses

Bergh Apton, Norfolk The collection symbolised all that our own species has pondered, learned and felt about mushrooms for centuries

This collared earthstar was one of the prize finds at Bergh Apton community wood. Photograph: Mark Cocker

he difference between a fungus foray and most other forms of nature study is the gregariousness of it all. There were more than 20 of us, aged eight to 80, joking and laughing and clustered around our guide, who is himself like a rare treasured specimen. Tony Leech is an expert who contributes as much simple human joy to a group as he does knowledge.

Each person scoured the ground for a contribution to bring back to the central hub of discussion. Our guide then marshalled these converging tributaries of inquiry into a wider delta of mycological conversation. This one was a dryad saddle. There was a wood blewit, or parrot waxcap, a collared earthstar. I often stood simply to marvel at the poetry of mushroom nomenclature. Ponder awhile the wrinkled peach, the parasol, the lilac bonnet – and the dog stinkhorn.

It was an excursion involving all the senses. We lay on the ground to be on intimate terms with the tiny earthtongue or dead moll’s fingers, whose pencil-thin fruiting bodies poked up like death-blackened digits. We inhaled a deep whiff of ocean in a mushroom called crab brittlegill. Best of all, we stood in amazement at the crazy fecundity of fungi: a fruit body of the football-sized giant puffball can produce 6bn spores.

Eventually the whole afternoon of encounter was distilled to Tony Leech’s basket of specimens. Here were gathered all the toadstools that were beyond our collective ken, and whose identities can sometimes only be settled by examination of spores that are 1/200th of a millimetre. In a sense, that collection symbolised all that our own species has pondered, learned and felt about mushrooms for centuries.

Yet that same basket also summarised the unfathomable wonder of life on this planet: for it contained the stories of 100 different fungi, which had each travelled through time probably for millions of years to meet on that afternoon in that October sunshine.

Source: TheGuardian

Advertisements

Make you Fink on Friday

Volume of world’s oldest water estimated

The researchers dated some of the deep water to between one and 2.5bn years old

The world’s oldest water, which is locked deep within the Earth’s crust, is present at a far greater volume than was thought, scientists report.

The liquid, some of which is billions of years old, is found many kilometres beneath the ground.

Researchers estimate there is about 11m cubic kilometres (2.5m cu miles) of it – more water than all the world’s rivers, swamps and lakes put together.

The study was presented at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting.

It has also been published in the journal Nature.

The team found that the water was reacting with the rock to release hydrogen: a potential food source.

It means that great swathes of the deep crust could be harbouring life.

‘Sleeping giant’

Prof Barbara Sherwood Lollar, from the University of Toronto, in Canada, said: “This is a vast quantity of rock that we’ve sometimes overlooked both in terms of its ability to tell us about past processes – the rocks are so ancient they contain records of fluid and the atmosphere from the earliest parts of Earth’s history.

“But simultaneously, they also provide us with information about the chemistry that can support life.

“And that’s why we refer to it as ‘the sleeping giant’ that has been rumbling away but hasn’t really been characterised until this point.”

The crust that forms the continents contains some of the oldest rocks on our planet.

But as scientists probe ever deeper – through boreholes and mines – they’re discovering water that is almost as ancient.

The oldest water, discovered 2.4km down in a deep mine in Canada, has been dated to between one billion and 2.5bn years old.

Source: BBCNews Read more

Comment:

Now all we have to do is find a way to pollute it…

Satireday on Eco-Crap

startlifecoke

Satireday on Eco-Crap

lifeonotherplants

I got dobbed

I didn’t have a post planned for here today, and I haven’t yet found anything satirish enough to make the grade.

The Sunshine Award

And, lo and behold, I awake after my customary morning nap and there in the mail box is a ray of sunshine.

I got dobbed, ah nominated for a Sunshine Award.

Our Tiny Earth, who is the culprit, ah the nominator says this, “I am nominating you for the Sunshine Award. Your blog inspires me to keep on”

I am an inspiration.

I am suitably humbled, which is inversely measured by my cynicism and stoic superciliousness. I always do this when I am faced with embarrassing situations, it’s a defence mechanism.

The acceptance of this award is, of course, binding on certain rules; tasks, if you like.

The Rules:

1. If you are nominated, you must blog a post linking back to the person/blog that nominated you.

Done

2. You must answer some questions, nominate ten fellow bloggers and link their blogs to the post!

Done

3. You should comment on your nominees’ blogs to let them know you’ve nominated them.

Done – sort of

So, here are the questions:

1. Who is your favorite philosopher?

Does one have a ‘favourite’ philosopher? My life has been measured by an amalgam of philosophers, ancient and contemporary. To say that one was a ‘favourite’ would be to demean the contributions of the others. George Carlin would have to have been the bluntest; he didn’t call a spade a spade, he called it a f***ing shovel!

2. What is your favorite number?

12, because that’s the number of children that I have sired and/or raised beneath my roof and will carry my legacy into the future.

Lixo P. Cat

3. What is your favorite animal?

Cat, I was raised with one in the bassinet. Ironically, my current moggy is the mirror image of him, a ginger tabby named Lixo. Lixo is Portuguese for rubbish, I named him that after he was dumped from a car in our local praça like a piece of rubbish as a kitten. Sometimes, in moments of endearment when he does that cat-thing and stops in front of you when you are walking I called him Fluffy Nuts, simply because he has.

4. What are your Facebook and Twitter URLs?

Twitter:  @whopaysthepiper  Facebook – I don’t FB

5. What is your favorite time of the day?

Any part of the day that involves coffee, or appropriately beer (after the sun has topped the yardarm).

6. What was your favorite vacation?

The year I planned to spend in Europe in 1992. On my way to Madrid, I stopped over in Rio de Janeiro for ten days and have never left. I never got to Europe. Living for twenty years in the 3rd World has shown me that life can be a vacation; something you’ll never realise living in the 1st World.

7. What is your favorite physical activity?

Walking, although the last three years it has involved a walking stick, so I should say, a fast hobble.

8. What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?

Iced tea, or Iced coffee, followed by apple juice.

The passion fruit flower

9. What is your favourite flower?

Passion Fruit. One of the most intricate flowers that exist.

10. What is your passion?

Life and its indelible imprint.

10 Deserving Blogs.

Now this is where, I have a problem.

My reply to OTE’s comment advising me of this nomination was, “sadly I will have to think seriously about the 10 bloggers, the last time I did a meme of this nature, not one of my nominees participated leaving me disappointed and disillusioned with the practice. I vowed not to participate further. I have noted a distinct change to the nature of bloggers since I moved to WordPress; Blogspot bloggers were always guaranteed participants. But I thank you for the opportunity; it’s not my intention to demean the gesture.”

I have participated, because I think it would be priggish of me not to do so in light of the generous nature of the award.

The one bloggerette that springs to mind, one that has inspired me, and inspired the creation of this blog, Small Footprints, has already been nominated. I single her out as my inspiration to things ‘green.’ That is not to belittle the efforts of many others.

I would like to throw the award open and invite the bloggers I have linked on my side bar to consider themselves worthy of this handsome award. If I didn’t think them worthy, they wouldn’t be linked. Proof of the pudding, etc. The rules apply, of course.

Absurd

Square Watermelons in Japan

The Japanese have gone to great lengths to produce these ‘square’ watermelons. Apparently, it is in the endeavour of easier packing and shipping.

Why, isn’t Mother Nature’s design good enough?

Man, not only the Japanese, spends so much time over trivialities that they have forgotten how to live, how to enjoy life, how to be…

%d bloggers like this: