Some of you might be wondering—why did I choose mushrooms for Ayphae’s theme? I could have built Ayphae around anything…and I chose fungi. Toadstools, yeast, mold, endophytes—they’re all central to the realm of Ayphae.
Now some of you hate mushrooms. Some of you find them weird.
I love mushrooms.
But why do I love them? I can’t think of any reason.
It certainly isn’t because they’re utterly unique. Just looking at a mushroom fills me with a sense of wonder. What a fantastical thing God has created! How colorful! How unique in shape!
And it can’t be that fungi are incredibly interesting. For instance, some of them grow overnight, while others can grow up through sidewalks. Their root system—mycelium—stretches out so far that a mushroom with a cap of two meters in diameter would, thanks to its mycelium, be the largest organism on earth.
One forest was found with a massive mycelium underneath it—one “mushroom”! That single “mushroom” has killed the forest above it many times over, then helped it regrow. And even when its hyphae (roots) are in separate clumps, they still count as the same life form. Think about it this way: if you split into two halves, but each half could operate independently, you might still be one person. A mushroom would.
Fungi are crazy. They glow, they rocket their spores at mind-blowing speeds like a cannon, and they’re so mysterious. We’ve only scratched the tip.
So what could be causing my mycophilia (love of fungi)? It definitely isn’t the large contribution fungi have made to society and the way we live—wine, cheese, rust, etc. Fungi are inescapable, and every plant on Earth has fungi inside it (endophytes). Every human being has fungi on their skin and inside them, (usually) helping them. Without fungi, not a single forest could exist.
Actually, fungi are so crucial to life that without it, nothing on this planet would exist apart from microbial life. Most decomposition couldn’t happen either, as chytrids are a type of fungi. Think of fungi as the little green men that make everything work.
But whatever it is, it’s not the testament to God’s imagination that draws me to fungi. No sir. It can’t be the magnificence of God on display through these mind-blowing creatures. It’s not the way they spark my imagination or draw praise from my lips.
So why do I love fungi? I’ll never know, I guess.
The Flames Chronicles, Book One
The Flames Chronicles, Backstory to Ayphae
The Flames Chronicles, The world of Ayphae
The Flames Chronicles, Book Two