Fungi: Parasite

Fungal parasite on a ‘waxy’ bracket

This is the 83rd fungus I have observed in Brunswick Valley Heritage Park, a white crust … type 13 … that apparently parasitizes the undersides of ‘waxy’ and ‘pikelet-like’ brackets.

My filing system is littered with labels like that. Crusts get a number. Polypores and Agarics get descriptive words if I don’t have any other clue.

Fungi have three main life-styles. They are parasitic, like the one above, living on other organisms; they are saprophytic, consuming dead wood … if we didn’t have saprophytic fungi we’d be neck-deep in wood; and they can be mycorrhizal in habit.

Mycorrhizal fungi help keep us alive, by helping to keep 95% of plants alive. They help plants to gain more nutrients and moisture when plants and trees themselves can’t reach, by extending plant roots with fungal mycelium.

You’ll Have Noticed…

…a dearth of anything. Am dealing with a bout of influenza. The doc said, go home two weeks in bed. This after I already spent eight days ailing, including an overnight stay in the local hospital.

All else is the fluttering of leaves in the wind.

Twin ink caps (fungi) that dried on the windowsill while I had my attention on other things

Hurdy-gurdy, the instrument

This hurdy-gurdy player from Joe’s Retirement Blog on Blogspot

A hurdy-gurdy features big time in Meld, the second book of the Doomed? series. The one pictured above is quite a historic instrument with its wooden keys stretching the six strings. Two strings either side of the bridge — I’m tempted to call it the superstructure it is so imposing — and two strings across the top. The wooden wheel at the right-hand-side acts as a bow, and strokes the strings, leading to the hurdy-gurdy also to be called a ‘wheel violin’.

Those of you into gleaning will feel right at home on this blog.

I’ve been writing this series for a such long time that when I googled hurdy-gurdies just now — to find the owner of the above pic — a website promoting its business of making hurdy-gurdies also came to the fore, http://www.altarwind.com

In Meld, the hurdy-gurdy is a hollowed-out electronic ‘modern’ (2150 +/- AD) version with the deeper box that will accommodate the rolled-up bane.

According to my trusty thesaurus, a bane is a ‘scourge, plague, curse, blight, pest, nuisance, headache, nightmare, trial, hardship, cross to bear, burden, thorn in one’s flesh/side, bitter pill, affliction, trouble, misery, woe, tribulation, misfortune, pain.’

The bane under consideration is all those, and more, to the much put-upon hero of the series. It’s possible to get started reading that series with Doomed? Book 1: Mongrel available now as an ebook, and in the not-too-distant future as POD paperback.


Maxing Blog Architecture?

This week is the final week, I’ve decided, that I will battle the WordPress platform blog architecture. I’ve given it a month and I’m too old to want to spend more time on trying fruitlessly to get what I want.

I’m still having difficulty trying to put easy things in place. On this platform I have so far not been able to hyperlink either between different posts on the home page or, more importantly, between pages. OK, yes, I’m giving myself five more days to get positive outcomes in that problem.

My second problem I suspect will be due to my own too high expectations. Perhaps a blog is not the right sort of platform to serialize story-instalments set in a fictional world … that of the Eleven Islands; write about the process of worldbuilding involved; and to promote novels and other published material set in that world.

Three pieces of a ceramic mosaic depicting a pair of round brown hills in the background, and some tall green grass in the foreground.
The various aspects of the blog are not melded yet

Reprise

‘Reprise’, disappointingly, merely means a repeat of something. I always thought that ‘doing a reprise’ meant making a correction. That the repeat would intentionally be better than the original. Well, that is the flavor of this post.

What I wrote yesterday? Pure verbiage. When I read such drivel elsewhere I move on. Yesterday’s effort shall join the deleted pile.

Mapping is a vast subject when there’s a whole world to be mapped. Or, in this case, when there are eleven islands to describe.¬†And, if there are to be people on the ground doing the mapping, what scale will they use? Travelling on foot, for example, produces a whole different understanding of a world than travelling by ship.

Arit and Hellion, the couple introduced so impulsively, are on foot. So far, if Arit were more involved in the mapping aspect, she might have drawn three parallel horizontal lines in her journal: the lower one representing the edge of the beach, the next two the near and far edges of the red sand road. Beyond the road she could perhaps scribble some shrubbery and outline the wallow …

1-red-aus-road-copy
Same present day road again.

Instead, she and Hellion have involved themselves in the local life, in the story of the Eleven Islands. They’ve just treated a Skin-Torn youth for his wounds and infections. And Arit has drawn her line in the sand. Despite her lack of knowledge of any other people in the scenario, her sympathies are all for the Skin-Torn youth’s people.

As a result, they are in a quandary. As is their trip planner. It’s obvious now that the idea to masquerade them as a pair of neutral, sight-seeing tourists was never going to work. How now to proceed with this project?

Ideas Are Everywhere

Yesterday, when I signed up for another project with an original user name — Arit Reede — I remembered a free-floating, nameless character I’d once invented for an anthology, and how this made-up name would suit her very well.

She was the carbon-knitter companion of a medic at a time when almost all the useful extras of modern life had for one or another reason disappeared. With my next thought, I wondered how to get her and her partner into The Eleven Islands scenario, given that the events for which she was invented, took place in the UK a hundred years from now.

With a certain amount of clandestine shipping still happening, that shouldn’t be too hard. Arit and Hellion like to be constantly on the move. They’ll be able to show us the islands from the point of view of a pair of foreign travelers. Future backpackers if you like, working their way round The Eleven Islands.

Despite the recommendation of ~NO TRAVEL~ to The Eleven Islands, the ship’s boat landed Arit and Hellion at the Southern Ocean end of the Red Sand Channel.

The Red Sand Channel where Arit and Hellion landed

The bosun at the tiller pointed to the island to the west. “Bight, the Isle of Wizards. The wizards leave neither flesh nor bones to be healed when they take their prey.” He changed hands to keep command over the tiller.

Pointed eastward. “Souzadelay. In the north of the island are four city states strung along the coast. A feudal overlord keeps three of them honest. The east south and west are agricultural lands in part, with fortified villages, and of course the delta. People trying to live peacefully. The Clay Faces rove and maraud. They enslave whoever they find on the road or out of their proper encampments.”

Go to my The Eleven Islands page above to read more …