Monday, September 7, 2020

Fantastical Around Us


Recently, I became slightly obsessed with watching a documentary called Fantastic Fungi. It was difficult to find a way to watch it, and in the end I had to wait until it came onto Apple TV, but I watched the beautiful time lapse photography on trailers and became addicted. 

It is perhaps not surprising as we head into the harsh, dry, unrelenting Queensland Summer that I become particularly interested in something found most easily in cool, shadowy darkness. Memories of lush, deeply green moss, winter-chill waterfalls, scents of water, decay and damp assail me. 

But there is also something about this unheeded, largely subterranean, largely unseen, but ever-present and ancient entity that intrigues me. 

At my first opportunity when we visit a (slightly) wetter place, I look for fungi - and find lichen, which - according to wikipedia is - 'a composite organism that emerges from algae or cyanobacteria living among the filaments of the fungi'. 

The soft greens sooth me. The texture intrigues me. Looking for the lichen encourages me to look around at the other micro features surrounding us - pollen caught in spiders webs, busy ants, tiny flowers, beautiful coiling tendrils. 

I am unused to this type of focusing and it is entirely random what feature is sharp and what is blurred. I enjoy the unexpected. 

There is a world - a fantastical world the equal to any fantasy book I've read - to explore, and I am enchanted. 

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