Okay, so I'm at least a month behind the power curve on this one, and probably all fans of strangely fascinating natural phenomena have already seen it, BUT... just in case you haven't:
Brush and Baren proudly presents:
On September 16, Carl Zimmer posted to The Loom at Discover Magazine this lovely video. Mr. Zimmer reports:
"Nicholas Money, an expert on fungi at Miami University, has been playing around with very fast video. Ultra fast. As in 250,000 frames-a-second fast. He knew exactly what this kind of video was made for. To film fungi that live on dung as they discharge their spores. These tiny fungi can blast spores as far as six feet away, boosting the odds that they’ll land on a clean plant that a cow or other grazing animal may eat. The fungi develop inside the animal, get pooped out with its dung, and fire their spores once more."
(The rest of the article here.)
I love this because a) it's in black and white! Do you see prints here? I do. b) it's a view of something that happens all the time, but I've never seen it- even when I lived on a ranch and was surrounded by cow dung, and c) it's one of the more whimsical applications of Verdi's "Anvil Chorus" I've ever seen.
Beauty, whimsy, and mystery first thing in the morning. Can the day get any better than this?