Rachel Bunting

donna’s psychedelic thumb

Yesterday was Domestic-ing Day at Casa Buneke: I cleaned house while Donna did some yard work. She pruned some hedges, weeded out a couple very overgrown spots, and cleaned up around some of the bricked-in gardens. All in all she did a nice job – and with great timing, as the rain started today.

Today, after a full day of avoiding the rain (HP 6, and then grocery and household shopping), we returned home to a very, very wet yard. In the process of taking trips back and forth between the house and the car to unload groceries, Donna spotted something unusual. She called for me to come check it out, convinced it was a transplant from another planet. She swears this was not in the yard yesterday, and I believe her – she spent a good hour or two working right where she found this, and I believe she definitely would have seen it:

So we have no idea what this is. Clearly it sprang up overnight, and it’s got a fibrous, spongy texture. It’s rough, not soft, and oddly brittle – Donna barely touched it and it fell apart.

This part looks a little obscene; it was bright pinkish-orange, and it smells horrific, like rotting leaves (and not in the good, composty way).

I reached in and pulled the tuber up carefully, and it slid out of a larger cylindrical tube. Weeeeeee-eird.

Any ideas, anyone?

Turns out that a simple Google search for “strange backyard fungus” got me an answer. This is actually a Phallus rubicundus, or a stinkhorn fungus.

0 Responses

  1. I found some of these under our trees earlier this summer. They freaked me out completely! I followed some advice from a gardener friend and they haven't been back – dig up the "eggs" (white bulbs under the ground) and put them in plastic baggies, sealed, in the trash. Flies are attracted to the smell and will spread the spores if you don't pull the "eggs"

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