Like mycelium quietly expanding underground, my blog life will be meeting up with a couple of public blogging opportunities soon! In this wonderful winter season with inspiration from camellias to wintering song birds, to mushrooms and beach walks after a storm, I get to write a blog for KQED QUEST and also an occasional blog for Alameda Patch. I'll have to take my writing up a notch for KQED after reading some of their posted blogs. It should be fun, though, to write for a larger readership (though I appreciate those of you following this little blog - yes, I know all four of you - which I can't even find when I try searching for it!). I've been lately inspired by all of the mushrooms popping up like winter wildflowers after the latest rains. There are so many different species - one report claimed many hundreds compared to just 35 kinds of oaks. I've been researching mushroom lifestyles - lifestyles of the dirt-poor, spore-fungi and they are fascinating! I wish they could extract and display intact the whole mycelial system of the species that tops the largest living thing with its mass extending 3 square miles! I could envision a whole city with the lacy system suspended above it, like they exhibit the human nervous system in the "Bodies" exhibit. That'd be quite a display! For those of you hankering to know more, or just wondering what the heck I'm talking about, check out http://www.anbg.gov.au/fungi/mycelium.html for a pretty clear picture (illustrations included) of how it all works. In the meantime, take a hike and see how many you can find in the moist hills, humming along in their quiet pursuit of downed trees, rich earth, and each other (turns out they can't procreate without meeting up with another system of the same species - sound like a familiar story?). You'll be amazed at the diversity, but be aware that they can be poisonous (you probably already knew that!) and you'd be crazy to harvest and consume them, unless you're a trained expert. Happy mushroom watching and watch for me on KQED QUEST (that title practically yells with all those capital letters)!