Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Late summer puffballs

Today has been a typical wet, dreary November day. Well, except that the temperatures seem a little above average. Regardless, I am mourning the loss of summer, and have been for a number of weeks. Now would be a good time to go back and reminisce a little. Take a look at some of the cool stuff I found out and about during those verdant, warm, long days.

I would forgive you if you didn't identify this correctly. It's the kind of thing you might not necessarily investigate at close range. Wait, who am I kidding? If you're reading this blog, you probably like getting up close to things in nature! But I would understand if you thought maybe this was a zoomed-in photo of the hide of a giraffe.


I would also understand if you thought this was a close-up of a print of some turkish art. I am reminded of both of these things when I look at these photos.


It is, however, neither of these things. It's a lovely (gigantic!) puffball mushroom. My shoe next to it gives you some idea as to the scale. If there are any mycologists or mycophiles out in the audience who can pin this down to a species, I'd love to hear from you!


Puffball crater


They seemed especially abundant this year, mostly occurring in groupings of 2 or 3 (sometimes more). From afar they all look the same, but up close, you can see how unique each one is.


This grouping caught my fancy. Almost like a family posing for their portrait. I love how there's a line in the middle 'shroom that seems to carry right into the pattern of bottom one.


Ahhh, mushrooms in a field of green with a backdrop of green leaves. I think maybe I can still smell the summer air if I try hard enough...

8 comments:

Jain said...

The image next to your boot is fantastic! The ones I've seen have all been leathery white. I hope someone posts an ID!

Beyond My Garden said...

Heather this is nice. The design looks like cloth with a leaf print. I will have to investigate puffballs much closer if summer ever returns. I wonder if next summer will be as damp as this one filling the woods and fields with fungi
nellie

Caroline said...

Usually I saw puffballs being sauted in butter by my mother, nothing like this! Giraffe hide, indeed, how cool is that?

Dawn Fine said...

Wow~That is one Amazingly Gorgeous Puffball~I didnt go to my Mushroom ID book because its in another state right now.
I have never found one of these..I know that most are edible and delicious when fresh.
If I were you I would go to this field a few weeks earlier next year and pick a few of these beauties for dinner. YUM

Dawn Fine said...

After Googling a bit I wonder if this might be a Scleroderma citrinum, commonly known as the common earthball ~which is not edible..I will look a bit more.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scleroderma_citrinum

Dawn Fine said...

me again..hee hee..here is a good site on puffballs. http://americanmushrooms.com/edibles3.htm

let me know if you find out what kind they are..

Judy said...

What gorgeous patterns they have!! I don't think I have ever noticed puffballs before...

Heather said...

Thanks for the interest, everyone. Dawn, thanks for the mushroom link. A friend on Facebook suggested that this might actually be the Pigskin Poison Puffball. I can't confirm it's identity at all just by looking at photos, so it may have to remain a mystery for a while longer. I know one thing's for sure, I won't be eating any mushroom I can't identify!!