Fungi, drugs and bugs – The surreal and disturbing side of nature

It occured to me the other day how nature remains beautiful even when it’s being downright disgusting or bizarre, and I would like to honour that achievement.

So, today we shall look at the inspiration behind many people’s art: the Weirdness of Nature.

First let’s ease you in gently with some cute kitties on catnip, taken from BBC series Weird Nature:

Second is a series I find quite amusing (and very odd), Sacred Weeds. Shown back in the 90s, two test subjects take a natural hallucinogen (different in each episode) while men in suits ask questions and stare:

This is a rather sweet, inoffensive clip of mushrooms growing from the series Planet Earth (with some music added). I defy anyone not to chuckle at the willy shaped ones:

Back in March New South Wales, Australia was blighted by floods. The locals were evacuated and, desperate to escape the water, these spiders moved “onto higher ground” leaving an entire ghost town engulfed by webs. Story (and creepy pictures) here.

Next up I saw a lot of fairly grim things during the BBC series Life in the Undergrowth (creepy crawlies), but for some reason this made me go all funny:

And these leaopard slugs are beautiful (in a slightly grim, surreal way):

Anything deep sea is like visiting a hostile alien planet (just watch the BBC’s The Blue Planet). In the meantime here’s a little vid with some music:

I’d have loved to find a clip of vampire bats, particularly from the documentary that shows one creeping up on a pig. Unfortunately there isn’t one on youtube that doesn’t have a hokey American voiceover and I just can’t bring myself to do it. So you have to imagine it instead, which is probably good for you.

Penultimately have a look at series The Future Is Wild, where scientists hypothesise in a Walking With Dinosaurs kind of way on the direction the animal kingdom might go millions of years after we’ve disappeared.

Lastly is the one I find most amazing. It has all the elements: it’s beautiful, it’s disturbing, it’s insidious, it’s science fiction in the natural world; the cordyceps fungus, as shown on Planet Earth:

Coping with endometriosis my way

Basically, having endometriosis is rubbish. It’s not life threatening (as you’ll hear many times) but the frequent trips to A+E and having plans scuppered by chronic pain are somewhat grating.

I often think of it as a guest at a tea party who always turns up late and only ever brings Garibaldi biscuits, despite me telling them constantly I don’t like raisins.

However, there are a few small victories I’ve claimed. They’re not much in the scheme of things but they make me feel a bit better, and here they are:

Keep a diary: I should confess I haven’t got round to this yet but my doctor tells me I should keep a regular record so I know where I am in the month. I can see it makes a lot of sense. Perhaps tomorrow…

I have to spend several days at a time in bed with a hot water bottle, so I’ve taken time to ensure my hot water and bed clothes look brilliant. Whether its a Salvador Dalek t shirt, tie dyed nighties (find out how in this post) or a rainbow hot water bottle, at least I look colourful when I’m in pain. And that’s the main thing.

Rainbow hot water bottle and Salvador Dalek t shirt, yay!

Read Coping With Endometriosis by Jo Mears. It will at least make you feel less of a weirdo. Well, as much as could be possible for me…

Make a bath as pleasant as possible. Having a hot bath of course soothes pain and I make sure I have my favourite products on hand. As I mentioned before, the colourful soaps from Lush and the vintage inspired Soap and Glory range are brilliant.

If all else fails, at least you’re not one of these ants: