Dear ERTHAWARE Citizens,
At the end of this year of 2010, Lynn and I, Dennis and the Pudgemobile, and Doctor Nate would like to express our appreciation for all of you who have joined our novice journey of discovering the wonder of Life on this almost infinitesimally small spinning planet rotating in an outer arm of a vast galaxy, itself rotating and streaming through an almost incomprehensible space with a billion other galaxies incorporating trillions of suns.
For this holiday season, I want to share with you some living ornaments I photographed in the Buckhorn Wilderness on one day at the end of October. Because of the unusual Autumn rains it was a banner year for fungi growth, and Dennis and I had a marvelous time in the stillness of the deep forest discovering a good variety of tiny to big mushrooms in all different shapes and colors. In a few hours I took 600+ pictures, such was the fecundity of the forest floor.
I call this series “Living Ornaments from the Soils of Mother Earth.” I have a bunch of other pictures equally as spectacular from the same area. If just one of these fragile life-forms had been found on Mars or a moon of Jupiter or some other body in Space, it would be one of the greatest discoveries of all time — cherished , studied, celebrated. Yet, how often we are blind or ignorant of these wonderful fleshy things and how they integrate with all of life on our tiny planet-home.
Biologists estimate that there are over a million species of fungi on this planet — most of them yet to be studied. Of course not all fungi produce fruiting mushrooms. Many are hidden in the earth. But fungi are essential for our survival. They, along with bugs, bacteria and weather erosion form the soils of the earth that produce the photosynthesizing green plant-world upon which all terrestrial animals depend, including humans. We can’t live without them!
The tragedies we are facing today and in the future are the increasing loss of habitat throughout the globe before these guys can be studied and valued. Not only are fungi on the team of soil-makers, they have provided new chemical compounds, formerly unknown, that have been useful in many kinds of medicinal and scientific studies. There loss is our loss.
In the last few hundred years, man-centered economies have developed with ideas of discovery, exploitation, extraction, development, consumption, profit, success and unending growth. It has been exciting for a minority. It has produced incredible affluence for 20% of the worlds population. It has become unquestioned orthodoxy for many of us — and I’m a blessed beneficiary, while 2 billion people live on less than 2 dollars a day (I have traveled in those worlds and seen the masses with my own eyes).
Yet, rarely have the scientific/biological economies of sustainable and flourishing life within nature’s healthful limits played a foundational role in influencing and monitoring our strongly believed and practiced assumptions. This calls for far more than re-cycling wine bottles and cardboard and re-using Christmas packaging. That’s good. We do it. But the next two centuries will evidence a great ideological struggle, whether in China, India, Denmark, the USA, Nigeria, Brazil, and on and on. The dominant question of this new warfare will be: “How do the billions of people on this tiny planet live in such a way that Life in all the biosphere is sustainable and flourishes in health?” Thus the habits of the dominant marketplace must be informed by science, ethics, philosophy, and even deep spirituality. This is not only essential for fungi, bugs and polar bears, but, overwhelmingly, for us humans worldwide. This transformation could be ugly, fought by complacent selfishness, greed, fear, militant ignorance and manufactured disinformation by the powerful. But it also could be nourishing, healing and beautiful. We in the LEARN GROUP opt for the latter.
Thank you for being a part of this adventure of discovery and transformation.
On the journey,
Hugs from Lynn and me