Friday, August 31, 2007

Mushrooms on a stick

After two months of a drought and a heat wave here in the Twin Cities (and elsewhere, I know), we got hit by rain, rain, and more rain in August. And suddenly all these mushrooms are sprouting up in people's yards everywhere. I often get mushrooms in my yard because I use a lot of woodchips for mulch and they must be filled with spores, but lately I've seen mushrooms everywhere, including in grassy lawns. I headed out yesterday morning with my camera to get some pictures, and it being a sunny, dry day, I didn't find very many mushrooms anymore, but then these funny-looking ones showed up on the strip of lawn between the sidewalk and the street (we call it the "boulevard" in Minneapolis).

After taking these pictures, I went to the library and got a mushroom field guide, and I also looked on the Web, but I haven't found anything that looks quite like these. Maybe they're a variation on something that usually has a more traditional dome-like cap. But I get such a kick out of these with their perfectly sperical balls on such a long stem.

It's Minnesota State Fair time, and the fair is especially known for offering things on a stick (mostly food, but others have used the concept for marketing other things -- like the art institute handed out images of art from their collection, printed on cardstock and glued onto a flat stick, and called it art on a stick). So I just can't help but noticing how much these look like something you might see at the fair.

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