Humongous Fungus: Good Friday Reflections

The Blues. That’s what the locals around these parts call the mountains, out yonder a ways, where the wheat fields end and the forest begins.

Up there, deep in the thick of things, the honey mushroom thrives.

Pretty little things, aren’t they?

Golden pancakes for forest creatures.

Or so it may seem to the unsuspecting and the unaware.

But Old Seers and those familiar with the Blues, recognize these jaunty pulps as the poisonous predators they are.

These golden caps are the blooms of the world’s largest living organism — Armillaria solidipes.

The fungus is estimated to be 2,400 years old. It can span miles, killing nearly every conifer or hardwood in sight — with a special affinity for the young.

Nicknamed Humongous Fungus (as noted in the the jazzy little tune above), it grows underground, mostly unseen until autumn, when the mushrooms bloom.

Yes. That’s right. The world’s largest living organism is more than a mushroom — it’s a  death ring.

Humongous Fungus slowly strangles the tree to death, robbing it of water and necessary nutrients.

By the time anyone notices mushrooms in bloom, the trees are already poisoned from the inside out.

The way sin does us when it goes unnoticed.

Or untreated.

The only successful means for getting rid of Humongous Fungus is to cut down the infected tree and remove its diseased stump.

Replant in its stead, taking care to keep the young saplings away from the infected areas.

New growth can occur where Humongous Fungus once thrived.

We just have to be willing to get on our knees and put in the sweat equity.

The way Christ did in the Garden of Gethsemane.

He said to Peter, and James, and John, “My soul is filled with sorrow; a sorrow that almost kills me. Stay here and watch while I am praying.'”

He went a little further among the trees, and flung himself down upon the ground, and cried out “O, my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass away from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will!”

So earnest was his feeling and so great his suffering, that there came out upon his face great drops of sweat like blood, falling upon the ground. After praying for a time, he rose up from the earth, and went to his three disciples, and found them all asleep. He awakened them, and said to Peter, “What, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that you may not go into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

He left them, and went a second time into the woods, and fell on his knees, and prayed again, saying, “O, my Father, if this cup cannot pass away, and I must drink it, then thy will be done.”

He came again to the three disciples, and found them sleeping; but this time he did not wake them. He went once more into the woods, and prayed, using the same words. And an angel from heaven came to him, and gave him strength.

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  • So many seem solemn today, but I am rejoicing. Rejoicing because of what Jesus did for me. Rejoicing because I am free. Rejoicing because what better way to show my thanks than to smile at the Son? And the Father.

    (that fungus guy scares me a little)

    • Karen Spears Zacharias

      Oh, girl, he’s harmless. Here in Oregon, Fun-Guy like him are as plentiful as Honey Mushrooms.