Monday, September 28, 2009

some stuff in my yard...............

So my yard seems to be infested with Wooly Aphids. If you look out my windows it really looks like it is snowing outside.

King David's tree version of the Gardenia.

I don't know what kind of mushroom this is, but I like the way it looks.

Black and Yellow Argiope or Argiope aurantia, its a garden spider, sometimes called a writing spider, for the zig zag in the web thing you can barely see in the photo.

They first look like this...small and skinny.....

but in a couple weeks they look like this and they are huge and scary looking, but really they aren't that bad, unless you are allergic to spiders.

Like all spiders they make a pile of babies...1 to 4 egg sacs with 300 to 1400 eggs in each one!!!!

After laying eggs, the female dies. The baby spiders hatch from their eggs in the Fall, but they stay inside the sac through Winter.

We found this in a flower bed.....nice huh? Z said looks like someone dipped their goober in fondue.........GROSS!!!

This is what it really is.......

Phallus drewesii or, easier to say Stinkhorn

This info provided by

General Information
There's no polite way of saying it: stinkhorns are gross, and they stink so strongly you usually smell them before you see them.

These distinctive mushrooms have a single, unbranched, erect stalk, sometimes gaudily colored, leading to Linnaeus aptly placing them in a genus he called Phallus (which has since been split into additional unsavory genera). The stalk is slimy, especially toward the tip, where the spores are concentrated.
And the entire mushroom hatches from an "egg," which, unlike a puffball, reveals layers of slime cut open.

The mushroom spreads its spores, which are present in the slime, by attracting flies and other creatures that like decaying flesh. The slime sticks to the insects, which then transport the spores.

Stinkhorns are saprophytes: the fungus under the stinkhorn or egg grows through wood chips or organic material in the ground and decomposes it. (hence the reason it is growing its disgusting self in my mulch)

Edibility (Why or how anyone on earth would even think to eat this is beyond me)
Stinkhorns are too disgusting to eat, although none that I know of are poisonous. Nevertheless, people have tried eating the cooked eggs of some species after removing the slime layer. I reluctantly tried one bite of a cooked stinkhorn egg just once, so I could speak about the experience first-hand. I noticed very little flavor and a markedly unpleasant texture before I spit it out! (again hence the reason his name is "Wild Bill")

Then a friend astonished me by telling me that shop people were selling dried stinkhorns in New York City's Chinatown (they're supposed to be a delicacy in China once the slime is removed). He even went so far as to buy me a package of dehydrated Chinese stinkhorns, an odorless "food" I had no way of identifying (I don't speak Chinese) that people in China have been eating for centuries.
I added this to a soup, and found it to have no flavor, and a weird squishy texture that people in China apparently like, but I found very unpleasant. Perhaps with proper seasonings, you could use this species to make a vegetarian mock squid dish!

Never eat, or even pick stinkhorns in New Guinea, where the Iban people (former headhunters) call it ghost penis fungus (immature snicker he he he). It's the member of a warrior who was decapitated in battle, and the twice-mutilated fighter will rise from the ground and pursue you until he cuts off your head with his headhunting sword!

Uses and Misuses
The best use of stinkhorns is for professional naturalists to use for lecture-demonstrations, but even this can be problematic:
In 2001, I found the front yard of a house near where my fiancée Leslie lived covered with Ravenel's stinkhorn. I should have left them there for Ravenel, but put a bunch in a bag and stored that in Leslie's refrigerator for a few days, since I would be departing from her place to give a presentation in a library.
Stinkhorns are one of nature's most foul-smelling creations, but they're nothing compared to decomposing stinkhorns! After a few days, Leslie noticed that she couldn't open her refrigerator without coming close to passing out.
After she identified the source of the putrescence and threw out the bag, she still had to scrub the refrigerator thoroughly and wait a few months before the smell went away. Miraculously, she still married me in 2002! if you interested in other mushroom stuff......

Again............EEEEEWWWW freakin GROSS!!!!!!!!!

Skylar found this attached to her skates in the garage yesterday. It is the chrysalis of a
Variegated Fritillary Butterfly. If you touch it, it will vibrate a bit.
Notice how it looks kind of like a face near the front. Its spikes look like they are dipped in gold.

I thought this was "far out!"

These two pictures are of another Variegated Fritillary Butterfly chrysalis we found under my sedum,...... that's a plant, try not to get stupid......

It is more pearly white with golden spikes because it is closer to coming out a butterfly......

.....notice the face like end can be seen much more clearly in these photos.

Super Cool!!!!

Variegated Fritillary will look like this when it comes out.....I did not take this photo, I swiped it from

This Is a nice bloom from my Playboy Tea Tree Rose

This is a random photo that's just so funny cause that night I got like..... no sleep, my eyes were dark & my hair was sticking straight up every where....I looked like Kramer from Seinfield.
I should be ashamed to put this photo here, but really it's just so dang funny how my hair is sticking up everywhere. >

If this were my mother, I would run away.

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