Prachi Chourey

Brought To You By Nature

Posted on: October 5, 2012

The other day I brought a shelf fungus home.  I found it on an old fallen tree that the neighbor was cutting up for firewood.  This particular species, Ganoderma applanatum, or the Artists’s Fungus, is as hard as wood, and gets its name because the white spore surface on the bottom can be used as a canvas by artists.  My thought was that we could affix it to the wall in our living room and use it as its name implied – as a shelf.  Rebecca told me she’d have to think about it for a short while, assuring me I’d have an answer before the next millennium.

The funny thing is that nature is full of these sorts of things – objects that mimic much of our modern technology.  Or perhaps it’s more apt to suggest that our modern technology has taken many of its cues from examples found in nature.

Sometimes these examples are fairly simple.  Last winter, when Rebecca and I were out for a walk and my jacket suffered a zipper malfunction, she walked over to a stalk of burdock, grabbed some burs, and used them to close my jacket against the wind.  It was a Swiss gentleman, George de Mestral, who used the hooked design of the burdock bur to invent Velcro.

When I lead people on wilderness survival classes, they are often surprised to find that many modern conveniences are readily available in the woods.  We sip tea from straws made of reed, sleep on heated floors by burying hot stones in the ground beneath our blankets, and even enjoy fresh running water – straight from a spring.

When bow and turkey hunters venture out into the woods, they’re using tactics our ancestors learned from watching animals – namely the benefits of camouflage, which is the basis behind a leopard’s spots, a rabbit’s soft coloration, and the uncanny mimicry of many insects.  Even highly-advanced technology benefits from observing nature’s ingenuity.  The fluorescent wings of the African Swallowtail butterfly are giving researchers insight into creating more efficient LED lighting, and by studying the super-efficient flight of flies, scientists are creating micro-robotic replicas that could be used for surveillance.  Some futurists even suggest that the human species, with its growing interconnection via modern communication, is evolving into a unified network like a hive of bees.

As for me, I decided the next millennium was quite a way off, so when Rebecca wasn’t looking, I put up the applanatum shelf and set a few knick-knacks on it.  And to my relief, when she saw it, she liked it.


– Prachi Chourey

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Prachi Chourey

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Prachi Chourey

Prachi Chourey

This is my first blog. Would like to blog about anything I like to share.. Some thoughts, something nice to share, recipes, upcoming events or like anything.. My latest Hobby is Cake Decoration and something more about it.. Prachi Chourey

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