Monday, September 3, 2012
The rain from Hurricane Isaac reached this part of Kentucky. There was a tornado warning a little to the north and slightly to the west. Here, where I am, an inch and three quarters of gentler rain fell on ground so dry that even Creeping Grass had turned its mood toward The End Times and Chanting. The rain was a Blessed Relief for all of us, I suppose. And generally at this time of the season, when it's warm and suddenly damp, those of us who are categorized as mycology aspire to dreams of empire, colonies where no colonies have been before. Which means that pretty soon now there will be hacking and coughing and sneezing, runny eyes and headaches, depression and other emotional reactions, the whole panoply of response to the grasping ambitions of beings who can be suddenly energized by a desire to make life hell for others.
Many years ago the Great Minds who like to divide and categorize in an attempt to control or better understand, declared that Fungi belong to a Kingdom of their own, which would include Slime Molds. Fungi are like us, to the extent they require organic compounds, such as the contents of a refrigerator, upon which to feed. But more like plants, Fungi produce reproductive structures that can float around causing allergic reaction, or hide away until conditions are better suited to growth, happiness and fulfillment. Slime Molds also like a bit of rain, and worth noting that more recently when the Kingdoms of Plant, Animal and Fungi were basically dismissed as far too straightforward and simplistic an approach to classification, the Great Minds were able to remove Slime Molds from the Kingdom of Fungi, giving them a common ancestor amongst the Unikonts, which means Slime Molds are more closely related to us than we are to plants. And also worth noting, this also means we are more closely related to Fungi than we are to Slime Mold.