Saturday, September 24, 2011

PUFFBALLS IN THE FALL

 Here in Wisconsin deep in the dark woods, odd creatures grow each fall.  Here is a relatively new one - being small in size.  Many are edible, but to be sure, we just DON'T!  They are called PUFFBALLS and you can read about them by clicking on that link.
 Last week we found 6 in our woods quite by accident, on our daily trek thru the area.  "A puffball is a member of any of several groups of fungus in the division Basidiomycota" as taken from Wikipedia.  This one is only about 10 inches across..
 As they get older and 'ferment', the color changes.  There is no opening and some grow on stalks; these don't.  In Tibet they have been used as a black ink by cooking etc.  You'll find more about that on the link above too..
 This one is almost fully mature - and is about 12 inches across in diameter. 
 My husband chose to open it up and the spores just puffed and blew all around.  Normally the Puffball gets very very dry and a crack will form in the skin before the 'puff' process happens.
And here is a great view of the soft interior.  Again, if it had matured even more, there wouldn't even be this much material to pick up.  Their entire life is bent on creating more spores.  And even tho they are huge, we may or may not see another next year.  One just never knows.  A true wonder of nature.

1 comment:

  1. I can say that I have never seen that. I guess it is something that doesn't occur in Texas. Wow. Holley

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