Here we go. 5 things
Bog Club news. I've finished Fen, Bog & Swamp by Annie Proulx. These were the best bits. Sphagnums are incredible.
"The sphagnums are the keystone species in peatland ecosystems which hold one third of the earth’s organic carbon. These profoundly managerial mosses once covered great parts of the earth slowly multiplying and dying, multiplying and dying, building ever deeper layers, encasing rocks and tree trunks, bird nests and animal bones, sucking up CO2. But their control of a bog goes beyond sheer proliferation of plants. Sphagnums have two kinds of cells—ordinary cells with chlorophyll that photosynthesize, and barrel-shaped retort cells whose pores absorb water. When drought hits the homeland bog these specialized hyaline storage cells can release water and keep the bog moist and alive—for a while."
"Sphagnum would like to conquer the world, but its low height puts it at a disadvantage. The pollens and spores of taller plants have better access to wind currents, yet the nonvascular mosses have adapted. Close to the ground the air is still—the laminar boundary. About 10 centimeters above the sphagnum the turbulent air rolls. The sphagnum is aware. It must get its spores into that transport zone. So, when the sun heats its spherical spore capsules they tighten their shape from sphere to cylinder. Cooking in solar heat, internal pressure builds up inside the constricting capsules until they explode, hurling the spores out in a mushroom cloud of vortex rings that exceed the heights of mere ballistics and put the spores in the passing lane. Most travel only a few meters, but some may catch a transoceanic long-distance ride to new territory."
I also learned the word oligotrophic which means 'severely lacking in minerals'. I hope to use that as vague insult one day.
There was a whole world I researched but didn't write for the PowerPoint book - what presentations were like before PCs. Fortunately Claire L Evans has written some of the best of it: the world of multi-projector slide shows. "If you never saw a slide show you never will"
From Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk and Antonia Lloyd-Jones
"So from morning onwards I’m kept company by pictures of weather fronts, lovely abstract lines on maps, blue ones and red ones, relentlessly approaching from the west, from over the Czech Republic and Germany. They carry the air that Prague was breathing a short while ago, maybe Berlin too. It flew in from the Atlantic and crept across the whole of Europe, so one could say we have sea air up here, in the mountains.”
I like that idea, breathing someone else's air. It's like the uplifting version of China's bad air.
The best mashup
To Pack and Wear:
2 jerseys or leotards
1 pullover sweater
2 pair shoes
toothbrush and paste
2 legal pads
Phil posted about the NTS morning show the other week. Made me want to do a radio show myself. So, tonight, I'm going to. That's Sunday 6th November at 10PM GMT. Live on Mixcloud. Sounds for Sunday bedtime. Come and chat.
(There are 821 of you. 821 was a big year for Mercians. King Coenwulf of Mercia died in Basingwerk while assaulting Powys. He was briefly succeeded by his son Cynehelm, but he was killed, probably fighting the Welsh, though supposedly through the treachery of his sister Cwenthryt. The Mercian throne passed to Coenwulf's brother, Ceolwulf I)