Sunday, July 03, 2011

Exploding Stars

...



About a month ago, I accidentally kicked over this mushroom, back by the QE2 beehive.




I cut it open, to see what it might look like. The inside was dense, and reminded me of ground poppy-seed filling. I rifled around in my gigantic mushroom book, Mushrooms Demystified, and made a tentative identification as being something in Scleroderma genus. I figured this was some kind of Smooth Earthball.




And then yesterday, I was clearing out the weedy non-fruitful, thorny blackberry patch, and uncovered these wonderfully odd things.




The mushrooms had split open in the form of a star. How magical is that?

(This is about as close to a fireworks post as I could manage this year.)

5 comments:

Stefaneener said...

Wow. did you know my sister and her partner are crazed mushroomers? They'd love to see those.

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

C'mon over! (I don't know how long these are going to last...)

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Awesome, and festive too. Sort of the fungi version of fireworks ;) I've never seen these in person. We have a puff ball type here (Lycoperdon umbrinum), but all it gets is a little hole in the top. I love how these burst open.

Kristen said...

Do you reckon they pop violently after a build-up of pressure, or just dry out and split? I'd imagine the former would distribute their spores absolutely everywhere on a dry day, but might be less reliable in the rain (and any viable offspring would then compete with the parent shroom for resources) but then again, it has probably developed in a specific manner related to California's quite predictable rain patterns. But one that dries out and splits would still be able to distribute spores on the breeze, it just wouldn't give them that sudden puff to get going. Either way, how interesting.

Town Mouse said...

That's starry enough for me! so, will it smoke when it gets a little older? Does it smell interesting?

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