Microbes in the Mist

I’ve been living in Italy on the side of a mountain for four months now. At least once a week depending on the weather a mist rises up from the forest below. I didn’t think much of it other than it looked nice until I read a book called Plant Intelligence by Stephen Harrod Buhner and learned that tiny microbes of spores and pollen are all contained in the mist.

According to Buhner “the trees, breathe out moisture-laden air through their stomata. And that moisture-laden air flows upward on the thermals, carrying bacteria that have hitched rides on pollen, fungi spores, and dust grains.”

The mist that I see coming off the Holm Oaks in the valley below, is not just picturesque, it is a living, breathing transportation system, moving microbes around.

Bacteria and fungi, in forest ecosystems actually release their spores at a perfect time when the thermals can best carry them up into the sky. The microbes then ice-nucleate, which means they attract particles of ice which build into hailstones; when they get heavy enough they then fall to the ground as hair or rain. Through this process nutrients and life containing microbes get transported to different locations.

Stephen Harrod Buhner says “In a tremendously ancient co-evolutionary relationship, microalgae create the thermal columns and the bacteria generate ice nucleation which brings them both back to Earth”. And so they use this process to travel great distances. They can be up in the sky for weeks.

Russell Schnell and his wife (Environmental Research Laboratories, Boulder, Colorado) were intrigued by the huge number of hailstorms in the tea plantations in western Kenya…. 132 days each year.

It transpired that as the tea pickers walk through the fields picking tea leaves, they kick up tiny particles of tea leaf litter which travel up on the thermals into the sky. The particles are also ‘ice-nucleating’; agents for the promotion of ice crystal formation. In fact tea leaf particles are really good at ice-nucleation because they allow it to happen at relatively high temperatures of -5 degrees Celcius.

So it would seem that how we interact with our environment not only sends additional microbes up into the air but has an effect on our weather systems as well!

I will never look at the mist in the same way again. Now when I see it, I am awestruck, I am thinking about the pollen, spores, and bacteria being lifted into the thermals and becoming ice so that they can be moved around. And I wonder, how did the microbes think of using the thermals to do that? What consciousness is at play for all that to happen? It can’t be random, that just doesn’t make sense to me.

If you would like to learn more about the Magic and Interconnectedness of Nature, please click on the link below:

The Magic and Interrelatedness of Nature

Stephen Harrod Buhner’s book is called Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm


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