Fungus as Art

“Out of damp and gloomy days, out of solitude, out of loveless words directed at us, conclusions grow up in us like fungus: one morning they are there, we know not how, and they gaze upon us, morose and gray. Woe to the thinker who is not the gardener but only the soil of the plants that grow in him.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Everyday is an adventure filled with little wonders if we just keep our eyes open for them.  Today’s adventure for our family involved a walk with the purpose of making observations for science classes.  The direction we took was strictly with the intent to observe a tree that we had passed numerous times recently.   Joshua had labeled the tree “the pancake tree”.    Once observing it closely, we decided it could also be referred to as the sea shell tree.  Once we examined the tree we came home and researched the unique yellow-orange growths on the internet.  We discovered that the growths on the tree are sulfur fungus.  It’s amazing how much art can be taken from simple explorations such as the walk we had today.  Over the next few days I’ll post more of our interesting finds.  Some days I’ll have quotes to pair with the images, some days there will only be photographs.  Be sure to check back to see what art nature gifted us with today.

The Pancake Tree

The Art Nature Gifts us With – Little Miracles Abound

The Colors of Fall come in Many Shapes and Sizes

 

Cocoons

I usually don’t post twice in one day, but today is an exception because I am filled with child-like excitement.  Remember the swallowtail caterpillars I posted on September 18th?  Well, the kids thought it would be cool, and I did too, to see what would happen if we kept the caterpillars in Gracie’s bug catcher.  We carefully placed the caterpillars in the bug catcher and gave them handfuls of parsley.  We diligently checked on them, replenished their parsley and even gave them water.  After a few days I worried that maybe we were hindering their natural process and decided it best to put them back on the parsley plants.  Two of them left the bug catcher with grace, not to look back.  The other two  however, were stuck to the bug catcher.  At first I thought maybe they were dead and I felt terrible.  But, after closer observation, I noticed they were both still moving when I jarred the catcher a bit and they were stuck to the catcher by what looked like silk threads.  Sure enough, this was the beginning of the process for making their cocoons.  One caterpillar made his/her cocoon first and several days later the second is snug in his/hers.  I’m posting images, not artistic, but more scientific in nature, for you to see.  I feel like we have successfully completed a science project!  We are now anxiously awaiting the other two, who are still fattening themselves on parsley, to make their cocoons. We can’t wait to observe their transformation into butterflies.  Just hoping we don’t miss it.

Such a miracle we are blessed to be witnessing!  Honestly I think I’m more excited than the kids.  And, to think we didn’t even have to buy a “butterfly kit”!

One cocoon. Notice the light shining in. It was a beautiful day when I took this image. The cocoon looks more green. It really was pale green in color at first, and I think the reflection of the green wire enhanced that.

Two cocoons. A much cloudier day for the second day of existence of the second cocoon. Notice the silk strands holding the cocoons in place.  So amazing!