fungi

Return of Ice Fungus in 2013

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

Ice Needle Mushroom, Narashino

I know its going to be a cold one when I step out my front door at 7 a.m. and my cheeks sting.  It is the kind of weather no matter how many strategically layered clothes I don in the morning I know I am just going to be cold.  As I was stepping out onto the street this Friday, it was one of those days.  The wind was blowing, and my cheeks were telling me be ready for the coldest day thus far this winter.

I kept my eyes peeled for the ice fungus on the way to the bus stop, but I didn’t spot any.  I spotted some signs that there may have been some a few days ago, but there wasn’t any as I fidgeted about waiting for my bus to come.  Stepping on to a warm bus feels so good on this winter days.  Japanese busses and trains have large box heaters under the seats, on a day like today I sought out a seat that would keep my feet toasty.

I transferred to the Tozai subway line and the subway trip was uneventful.  At this early hour and lack of sleep the previous night I drift in and out of my dreamworld.  Opening my eyes from time to time to see Chiba suburbs blur.  My eyes tire and they quickly fall shut.

Stepping off the train at Tsudanuma, I knew it was a little colder here than when I had left Kasai.  Not by much, but enough to make a difference.  I again paced in place as bus after bus arrived that weren’t for me.  At last I was able to catch the bus and plunk myself down on a warm seat.

This bus on Friday is always packed with Toho Junior High School students.  The noise is unbelievable.  So much yapping, gapping, gaming, and just plain annoying leveled frequencies.  I pull my fully hat over my ears, shut my eyes and allow my mind to just wander.

I get off at the end of the line.  The bus drops us off, circles around, and then makes the same route back to the station.  The air was brisk, and I immediately search the ground with my eyes.  I see the tell tale signs of the return of the ice fungus aka ice needles.  Tiny clumps of earth have broken from the ground and pushed up towards the cloudless skies.  They all shined in the early morning light.

My flesh may have been cold from the winds blowing in from Siberia, but my soul was warmed by the return of the ice fungus.  I was reminded that my friend, Akiko said when she was a little girl and she and her friends would love to hear the crunching sound of the ice fungus under their boots.  I am sure if was young it would have been a lot like popping bubble wrap, once you start you just can’t stop.

I don’t care what people thing about this seemingly crazy foreigner on his hands and knees taking pictures of dirt.  I am sure all artist out there know what it is like to be in the zone, and doing whatever it takes to get creation that you want.  I just block it out.  In fact, I don’t even think about it anymore.

I am joyous in the fact that the ice fungus have decided to bless my day.  Their shining threads awaken my cold soul.  The icy cold has a way of giving me warmth in my heart.

I wish all a pleasant, restful, and meditative day of rest.

Shalom from Kasai, with warming ice fungus in my soul.

 

Ice Fungus in Morning Light

 

The Tip of the Ice Needle, Ice Fungi, Narashino

Stop and Smell the Fungus

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Verge of Orange, Temple Fungi 01

I almost missed these orange hued wonders as I made my way back to the station.  On Tuesdays, I like to cut through a buddhist temple in Ichikawa as part of relaxing end to my day.  It helps to put the world back into perspective as I come out of the fluorescents and into the sunshine.

The temple building itself is pretty new but its grounds must be a few hundred years old.  They include a hand hewn stairway that passes through an old wooden gate making the entering of sacred ground.

After being in a building for most of the day I like to get out into the small garden of this temple.  Last week the park was crammed full of cherry blossom watchers, whereas today the grounds were still.  I walked past a large tree when a few blips of orange caught my eye.  They were tiny in size but bold in the color they spoke, orange.

I had to turn around and get down on my knees in order to get the fungi into my view finder.  They were well worth the time.  The short pause after a long day is necessary.  The selfless act of noticing something so tiny that most walked straight on by with out even giving these little ones any thought or admiration.

They are on the verge of being.  They are there if we notice or don’t.  It is really up to us to take the time to breathe in the world around us.  To take in these lovely orange wonders for our stimulation.

Please take some time to stop and smell the fungus.

Verge of Orange, Temple Fungi 02

Double Shrooms in the Morning

Saturday, October 15th, 2011

I am always happy to find some fungi.  They are amazing bits of nature.  They grow so quietly.  They often sprout up overnight.  One minute there is nothing and the next morning there are two little mushroom sentinels standing watch over a small hillside in Chiba prefecture.

I love having to enter into their world.  This means, it is rather rare to run into some fungi that are at my eye level.  I need to lower my eye line down to the shrooms size.  Getting down on my knees and into the blades of grass to photograph them.

I want to see what those shrooms are seeing.

I want to feel what they are feeling.

In order to do this I need to enter into their micro world.

Double Morning Mushrooms

It is good for all of us to be able to change our perspective on the world.  The world looks mighty different when you are eye to eye with blades of grass and these two little sentinels.  The macro and the micro go hand in hand and shape our view of all the stimuli that makes up the world.  We learn to perceive, process, and interact with that world.

Shrooming in the Morning Sun

Saturday, July 9th, 2011

The rains seem to come and go these days.  We are suppose to be having a rainy season now, but it looks like mostly the southern islands of Japan have been getting most of the rain.  We have had some, but nothing like it should be.  However, one of the upsides of the rain, are the proliferation of little mushrooms that just sprout up over night .  I am always amazed at how quickly nature works.  One day there is nothing, the next there is one that is just shrooming in the morning sun.

Shrooming in the Morning Sun

Mushrooms are Amazing

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

These little ones just sprouted up overnight.  It is amazing that these little ones are just passed by most.  I guess it is my challenge, and to keep my eye open to catch whatever I can.

Sprouting Mushroom, Just in a Night

Spontaneous Growth

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

The other day after some rain I noticed what I thought was a stencil in the shape of a bearded man.  Upon a closer look I realized that the beard was in fact some kind of fungi-like growth.  Always something interesting in ones own neighborhood.

Spontaneous Spores

Ice-shrooms

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

The ice-shrooms reappeared the other day this week.  These strings of crystals are angel hair pasta.  Fragile and delicate in the early morning light.

Ice Crystal Mushrooms 2

Ice Crystal Mushrooms 1

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