GAIA’S SKIN

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California Newt, Taricha torosa. They are harmless to humans but so toxic nothing eats them.

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Tiny Mushrooms next to a nursery pot.

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I found this tiny crab spider beneath the yellow flower of a Sun Cups.

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Unidentified Lichen Fruiting Bodies.

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This fungus is only known generically as “Purple Fuzz”. It’s the first plant I’m aware of encountering which has no designated scientific nomenclature.

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Voluntary decorations on a tall stump upon which I display art.

GAIA’S SKIN,  A true story

I was cruising smoothly through the woods, Cataloguing trees,  When I tripped upon a supine vine,  Which brought me to my knees.

The vine would not apologize – It had done such things before.  So there I sat most humbly,  Down upon the leafy floor.

As long as I was painless,  I thought I might as well   Calm down and see what’s happening At the bottom of the dell.

To my left there lay a rotting limb,  From which I pulled some bark,   Beneath which there were funguses:   A microcosmic Ark.

Colonies of fruiting flesh,   Spread out upon the wood,   As if they wandered down the trunk;   I’m almost sure they could.

Now I try to be objective,   And I know it might sound brash,    But I have to say that one of them     Looked like a festering rash.

Adjacent was an ocher fur.   It seemed they must compete,   To assimilate the spongy wood,   For how else could they eat?

Such multi-colored pageantry,   A tapestry of fuzz-     A mycoplastic universe,    That is, and will, and was.

A motionless black scorpion,   Green insect in its jaws,   Its stinger coiled to one side;    A killer without flaws.

A sow bug flowed across the edge,     Past earwigs pinchers up,    And a predatory spider stalked    A bug that it might sup.

All this in a rough square foot,   Of a space by where I sat;   A tiny random sampling   Of the planet’s living mat.

I saw only what was visible;   The Mother knew much more,    Of how its all united,    From the surface to the core;

The web of All Connectedness,    Pulsing hard and true and sweet;    How can we not appreciate    This world at our feet?IMG_1104

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These caps are about 1/4 – 3/8 in. diameter, and have a perfect name: Fairy Helmets.  Coprinellus disseminatus

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A nice lilac colored fungus.  I found both of the above fungi on pieces of firewood this winter. The spider was a visitor in the gazebo, and was part of an ongoing Buddha dialogue which picks up in the most interesting ways. It appears to be a paler version of the very yellow spider pictured above, which was on a bright yellow flower.

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