We’re all familiar with the ham-handed efforts the FDA makes to helpfully divide foods into groups while recommending which groups we should prefer to emphasize. It’s for your own good, folks, says the paternalistic agency!
Well outside the bureaucratic spheres of influence (for the time being — knock on wood!) we all have internal groups. It’s human nature to categorize in an effort to make sense of the splendidly complex amalgam of perceptions and thoughts to which we are heir as humans.
Here are some images representative of three of my own aesthetic groups, overlapping categories of perception. These groups are Fallen Leaves, Fungi, and Tree Bark.
The rains came late this year to the Mississippi Valley. It was so dry earlier in the fall that few mushrooms ventured forth to sporulate, and the trees’ leaves, while coloring as the photosynthetic factories shut down, stubbornly hung on to their home branches.
The rains have finally begun this past week and the business of autumn, which is so gratifying to witness, proceeds apace.
I pulled the car over to a favorite spot yesterday afternoon and got out to wander a bit and stretch my legs. Several creek-side sycamore trees had been letting loose their floppy and pointed leaves. Sycamore leaves aren’t wildly colorful but they make up for that lack with elegant form and texture:
I noticed a fallen river birch branch and I squatted down for a friendly visit. The bronze and cream tones of the curling bark contrasted with the cool whiteness of a newly-emerged oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus). A couple of contemplative views:
I appreciated the artless manner in which the drifted sycamore leaves framed the first view, and the sheen which fallen drizzle gave to the birch bark in the second scene.
So that cloudy and drizzly afternoon I had satisfied three of who knows how many aesthetic food groups. It’s so important to have a balanced and healthy diet!