Duggie’s Ramblings Dec 22
Wood Wide Web This is not a typing/laptop mistake, it is taken from a book that I was recommended to read. It is written by the colourfully named Merlin Sheldrake and entitled ‘Entangled Life.’ All praised by, no less authorities than, Robert Macfarlane and Helen MacDonald. For a biologist or better still a botanist this book would give ‘insider’ knowledge of an important, possibly familiar, and revelatory nature but as a non-biologist or botanist. I found reading the book like walking in the dark through unfamiliar land. I came out of it better informed, it was a worthwhile read! I learned that mushrooms are the fruit of the fungi and the truffle is the most precious!
An intriguing section is his time spent in the woods of northern Italy with legal truffle harvesters and their sniffing dogs. The harvesters are keeping away the illegal truffle hunters, as Truffles are a special item on the dinner table, particularly in Los Angeles. So says Merlin Sheldrake.
Merlin Sheldrake’s mycological travels and studies have included considerable time spent in the jungle of Panama with like minded people from universities in the United States.
In the Panamanian jungle, he spent time on his knees (after checking that there were no snakes!) scuffing up the topsoil with a trowel and sniffing below ground level. The results were a discovery of mycelium and mycorrhizal fungi. He later concluded that 90% of plants would not exist on this planet without the presence of fungi
Fungi exist and flourish not only in the world around us but also within our bodies.
Cop 22 held in Egypt received some publicity. This December 2022, we find Cop15 held in Canada, The Global Nature Summit. Will the country’s representatives be discussing the 70% loss of global wildlife population since 1970? The United Kingdom has contributed to this, as we are 228th out of 240 in the list of the most nature depleted countries. Saphora Smith, the climate correspondent for the Indie and previously CBS has written, ‘If nature cannot survive,then neither can we‘
In the last year, there have been five Secretaries on\off Education. This must be confusing for the civil servants in the Department of Education. But this is much more confusing for the teachers. Many of those schools by -pass local authorities. In schools is too much emphasis placed on academic achievement where many, the majority, are not cut out for the academically designed route? Do schools about exam statistics? Are the human qualities of kindness, patience, thoughtfulness, and politeness relegated to the background?
Have schools become soulless exam factories reeling off statistics for their political masters? If so perhaps the 5th or 6th Secretary of Education might reconsider the relevance of human natures qualities as a priority in schools.