Sunday, October 5, 2014

Gigantic White Puffballs

They say you are never too old to learn.  That happened to me today.  Because I'm not very worldly, it happens to me more than many people my age.  Today I discovered some Gigantic Puffball Mushrooms.  Actually my son-in-law pointed them out to me.  We were visiting my daughter and son-in-law's new house.  In front, near the driveway were these big white balls.  I thought they were white pumpkins that had been tossed in the yard.  I was told they were puffball mushrooms, and they were actually edible.  I had fallen for that big huge mushroom/fungus thing once before.  As it turned out that one was insulating foam.  I walked over to the area and these are big white mushroom balls.  Kind of pretty.

I did a little research, and they are only edible for a short period of time.  If you find one, you should slice it open lengthwise.  The inside should be firm and white.  There shouldn't be any gills like you see in some mushrooms.  I didn't cut these open because I don't plan on eating them.  I'm not that brave to ever take that chance.  Very soon they will turn brown and give off trillions of spores. Folklore says that the spores were used for medicinal purposes, but again I'm not going to try that either.   I will look forward to seeing if these reappear next year.

Sometimes puffballs grow in what is called a "fairy ring".  This is a little one.

I learned about the Indian Pipe's earlier this Summer, in case you missed it.  Nature is amazing.

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