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A Peek into an Unknown World

2013 March 22

By Kelly Dulka

A while ago, I made a discovery that reminded me of the vastness of the unknown or unseen.  There are all kinds of references, both funny and fantasy, to worlds and places unknown to us: from the Keebler elves to the Hobbit and even a Journey to the Center of the Earth. I’d like to tell you about my discovery of an unseen natural wonder that really set me to wondering.

A few months ago while getting ready for winter, I was helping my husband replenish the firewood for our woodstove.  He was splitting, and I was stacking. As he was splitting the logs, the pieces would fall apart and to the ground. As I picked up one of the pieces, to my amazement I discovered a small, fragile mushroom growing INSIDE a knothole in the middle of the log. I was shocked, but it was an instant reminder that no matter how far I travel or how hard I try, much of the world around me I may never see.

Mushroom growing in a logIt also made me wonder about what else exists in nature around us in places that we’ll never know. Frequently we hear of a new discovery of an animal species previously unknown, or new sea life that exists far down in the ocean where humans have never been. These unexpected discoveries remind me of both the fragility of nature, but also of its durability and continuity. It seems that Mother Nature has been doing what she does best for years and years just fine, in spite of our mistreatment and the demands we place on her.

Imagine how much more beautiful our world could be if we all took the time to tend and care for her like she does for us. Maybe by picking up trash in a neighborhood park, or snagging a few plastic bags from the branches of one of her trees, or taking the few extra minutes it takes to recycle the oil from that Saturday afternoon oil change. It’s amazing to me that such a little time investment can make such a difference in this old world of ours.

Have you ever made a discovery like this that has made you rethink how you do things? Tell us about it.

About the author: Kelly Dulka works in the Office of Web Communications. She lives in Southern Maryland.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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6 Responses leave one →
  1. Lina-EPA permalink
    March 22, 2013

    Wonderful blog and great picture! There are so many small wonders around us in nature. We just have to keep our eyes open!
    Thanks for sharing,


  2. Cindy permalink
    March 22, 2013


    You are so right! Of course one of the best ways to see the small wonders around us is to spend time in nature with young children and experience the world through their eyes. Oh the many wonders!


  3. Arman.- permalink
    March 22, 2013


    Unfortunately, tonight I was regretted why the ages of the people shorter than results of their worked ? Why they left worst works for their children,where people and the planets were wrong had destroyed our natural and human resources, that was created billions years ago?

  4. Maryann Harvey permalink
    March 23, 2013

    Sweet observation. There is so much in our world that we will never see if we don’t look.

    I hope you are a member of where people are speaking out against the Keystone pipeline which will cause irreparable damage to this country and our world if it is permitted to be built.

  5. Gianni Nocchi permalink
    March 25, 2013

    I agree, there are so many beautiful things around us in nature to be discovered!
    woanderful article and very nice pic!

    Gianni from Italy

  6. Yabing Nollet permalink
    May 21, 2013

    What a beautiful picutre. The mother nature provides us with so many wonderful things. I have actually heard that there is particular fungus growing in a particular three has sort of function to kill tumors. I wonder what the mushroom you discovered is.

    Thank you for sharing the story.

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