Monday, May 10, 2010
Fun-guy feeds Gastro-girl
You see, my husband was back in town this past weekend. Glory be! We went to the cabin, and after the weather improved enough to be outside, that's where we were. We melded our two love languages (his is acts of service and mine is quality time) and we worked on the rock that flanks our cabin. Piles of dirty rock needed to be sifted and sorted and replaced on the newly laid felt, and there was no way I was going to let him do it alone. I had some annoying to do.
My guy loves to do projects, and it seems the harder the project, the better. He puts up with me when I "help" because I am not always a quiet worker. I was not quiet this weekend either.
"Hey, what is a symbiotic plant?" I asked after the silence had caused too much firing in my brain.
"What?!" he rightly responded.
"Oh nothing, I was just thinking that there has to be some symbiotic plant relationship that one plant depends on the other. You know, like a barnacle or something?"
"I don't know," he politely ignored me.
My head kept working and I managed to make my mouth stop. There are always such great examples in nature, and with all the choosing to grow stuff that bombards my mind, I should probably learn more about plants, I thought.
So, that's why I was on the computer this morning reading about fungus. There is a natural example of something that I think works really well as a symbol of a strong relationship. It is the relationship between a symbiotic plant, Gastrodia, and the root-rot fungus that feeds it, Armellaria mellea. Without getting too technical and in hopes of letting the scientific explanation speak for itself, I can tell you that the fungus (or Fun-guy for my purposes) is the sole source of nutrients for the Gastrodia (or Gastro-girl as I'll call her).
Gastro-girl does not have the equipment of other plants. No green leafs so no chlorophyll and no roots. Fun-guy is the only source of nutrient for this plant. I am more like Gastro-girl than I want to admit. Anyway, the even cooler thing about this relationship is what Gastro-girl does for Fun-guy. See Fun-guy is mister destructo-man. He cannot help himself and he normally feeds on any living crop or tree that he can get his tendrils on. He is singularly focused and he just goes.
Similar to what happens when my human guy is left to his own devices. Anyway, Gastro-girl does something pretty miraculous, and not totally explained, she slows down the appetite of Fun-guy and keeps him from destroying the life around him. Even cooler than that, when the two are working at the right levels on each other, out sprouts a tuber orchid.
Life is amazing. The way that these two seemingly mismatched organisms are not only beneficial to one another, but perfectly designed. It is just enough to bring out the beauty that can only happen when they are in sync. Fun-guy is his own guy and Gastro-girl is an independent gal, they can both grow on their own...but the orchid will not bloom under just any circumstances.