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Nicholas Barnard

A Height Challenged Telephone Pole

Along the side of the road, buried by snow stands a small telephone pole. This pole no longer serves any of purposes that it was originally intended for. It no longer carries the surging 120 volt power, or the noisy chatter over a telephone line. It serves no purpose anymore, it is lost and forgotten, among the lists of poles maintained by the electric company. A closer inspection reveals a small cornucopia of life. A quick glance a this short pole it would appear that miniaturized plants and otherworldly life exist on this stump. But, further study reveals multitudes of fungi growing of the once purposeless telephone pole. This life is an explosion of color, reds, grays, brown, and many greens, show themselves on this stump.

The centerpiece of this thriving environment is two tall green structures topped with a smattering of the most vibrant red. The leafy green common fungi, and its less liked cousin liken, are smattered around the telephone pole, fighting against the chemicals in the treated lumber, and apparently winning.

A mountain of green mold erupts around with the fungi, reaching to be as tall as its rock filled cousins. It ekes out an existence in the open space competition of this small world. To the left several inverted gray funnel fungi along with their maroon cousin inhabit another tract of wood. These funnels form a straight line emanating from the center of the wood, forming a miniature storm system on the wood, creating havoc within the cells of the tree.

This small abandoned pole has found meaning in the creation of an atmosphere that allows this overlooked life to exist in its own size and on its own terms.

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