Thursday, April 24, 2014

Bizarre Mystery Creature of the Month

Every so often, Hoot Owl Karma is introduced to a new creature, something so unusual that we not only don't know its name, but we've never even seen it before. We love these learning opportunities and only wish that they occurred more often; so we were thrilled to hear from Cousin Danny, a.k.a. Daniel the First Class Wilderness Scout, this week. He alerted us to the existence of a bizarre new creature lurking deep in the wilds of Lee County.

Although we'd never met this particular critter before, we remembered stumbling across a similar face while perusing our field guide collection, so we started digging in the neighborhood of stalked puffballs for a more precise ID. Turns out it is neither a stalked puffball nor any other kind of puffball, but it is a fungus.

After a good bit of digging, we settled in the vicinity of genus Calostoma, possibly species lutescens. These individuals are a bit past their prime, but impressive nonetheless, and they certainly top out pretty high on the bizarrometer. As always, we welcome input from our friends and followers, and we're happy to stand corrected, especially when we're dealing with creatures we've never encountered before.
Thanks, Cousin Danny!

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