A new meme for me to try, Mosaic Monday.
A friend and I took a short walk in the woods today, and there, just when I wasn’t even thinking about looking for it — though I have been looking for one for about a month now — was a stinkhorn mushroom, in fact Ravenel’s Stinkhorn, Phallus ravenelii.
We haven’t had a lot of rain lately, so fungi have been thin on the ground, literally. And weirdly, this is the first stinkhorn I’ve come across, except for an immature one, that I didn’t smell first, or at all, even up close; this one didn’t have that characteristic stink of the stinkhorn, which is usually said to resemble rotting flesh or dung but which often smells like bleach to me. When walking along a trail, I’ll smell the bleachy odor (or occasionally the rotting meat odor) and start looking around in quite a large radius because the smell is pungent.
But today, I was looking at the “doll’s eyes” of an Actaea pachypoda (white baneberry) and as I moved my own eyes back to the trail, the shape and colour of the mushroom caught them. As you can see, this specimen doesn’t yet have the smelly black or olive-coloured slime that attracts flies to its spores, which the flies distribute over a wide area, ensuring future stinkhorns.
I will go back tomorrow to check on its progress.
The mosaic includes the stinkhorn and a few others things seen on the walk today.