Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mother Nature is messing with my head

Okay, first I have to tell you if you are easily offended, or if you are at work or you have small children about, then this is not the post for you.

Don't say I didn't warn you. (And I apologize for the quality of the photos. I don't have my trusty Nikon with me, so I had to use my Canon Sureshot.)

Remember, I am only reporting what I found lurking in my yard, so don't be hatin'. I didn't create this thing, Mother Nature did, and I think she is must be going through some kind of existential crisis and chose my backyard to express her angst. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say this thing is freaky. It also explains why my lawn-care guys were giggling and calling their buddies parked out front in the truck to come have a look.

My morning started out innocently enough. I was picking up "Buddy bombs" in the yard, and I saw Henry peeking through the fence. I love photographing Henry because he's a big goofy retriever with a wise old face.

Here is Henry at the fence:
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But what is that white thing on the ground in the shade of the forsythia, down in the left corner? I moved in for a closer look, as did Buddy. He seemed a tad wary.

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Now, I'm no fungi expert, but Holy Mother of all Mushrooms....this is what I saw growing at my feet:

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Seriously. It looks like Sir Walter Raleigh on his way to a fetish party, his manhood embellished with an Elizabethan ruffle which is clearly tied too tight.

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And if the sight of this thing wasn't bad enough, it had a smell that could knock you over from twenty feet away. How to describe the stench? I guess if you took a dead body, stuffed it with moldy mushrooms and unwashed gym socks, let it stew for a few weeks in warm sea water then sprinkled it with acetone you might come close. Buddy then whacked it over with his tail.

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To avoid any accidental poisoning, I stuck the thing up in my flower box. The next day, the stench was worse than ever, and it was coated in giant flies which had already devoured the brown coating on the....head, I guess you could say. I placed a ruler beside it, and as you can see, this thing is a full eight inches. (I'm not touching that one, I'm not going there, I will not make a joke, I will not.)

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If anyone could tell me exactly what this is, and if it's poisonous, I'd really appreciate it. I tried Googling it, but the entries that popped up when I put "mushroom + penis shape" are probably best left to your imagination.

43 comments:

Susan Adrian said...

Oh my freaking hell. That such a thing could not only randomly exist, and look so much like...like...and...

And it's in your YARD!

Wow.

kc dyer said...

Perhaps you might enjoy this recent post on boing-boing...

http://www.boingboing.net/2008/09/11/penis-iceberg.html

Linder said...

Oh. My. GAWD. {giggling uncontrollably}

Hey, if you've discovered a new fungi (er, perhaps "fun guy" is more appropriate?), maybe they'll name it after you. {g}

Linder

A Novel Woman said...

Aiiieee! They're everywhere!

And I notice I now have a lot of Viagra spam in my inbox....clearly they haven't seen what grows in my garden. Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? With silver bells and cock--no, never mind.

A Novel Woman said...

Linder,

Name it after me? Nah. It would be enough if they just bronzed it.

Susan Adrian said...

[With silver bells and cock--no, never mind.]

Oh, now I'M giggling uncontrollably. In my office.

A Novel Woman said...

Suze, well what do think I did when I discovered it. I mean, I've heard of a green thumb, but this?

Kathy said...

Oh My God. That's hilarious. I have never seen such a thing before, but I'm especially fond of the Elizabethan ruffle.

Word Gardener said...

Well, if Mary had one of those in garden, she shouldn't be contrary. I was going to suggest you dig the guy up, because clearly he's not dead yet. But then I got to the smell...and there are more? Please post dildo field photos.

A Novel Woman said...

Dig the guy up? Nah, may he continue to rest in peace, or in pieces give or take a day.

Word Gardener, where did you get the idea I have a field of these things in my yard? One of these is all I have and one is quite enough. (That's what she said.)

Althea Preston said...

Yes, it's disgutingly hysterical and...just eww!

http://botit.botany.wisc.edu/toms_fungi/july99.htmlis

A Novel Woman said...

Ms Preston, I cannot get your link to work. Are you missing a section?

What's it all about, Althie?

Lottery Girl said...

I'd like to make be able to make a clever comment, but I am too busy laughing to think coherently!

althea preston said...

That one should work. It does for me.

It's a veiled stinkhorn...

http://botit.botany.wisc.edu/toms_fungi/july99.html

althea preston said...

I don't know how to turn it into a live link, you'll have to copy and paste. And I have no idea where that little S came from on the end of the first one...

poltergeist in my keyboard I would suspect...

laughingwolf said...

methinks THAT is what eve found in the garden of eden, and kept quiet about it to adam! :P lol

yeah, pamfalooza [or some such] would be an appropriate moniker ;)

yutha said...

I....uh....I....there are no words...at least you know what it is now. I love that Buddy thwacked it with his tail...

Dingo said...

I really enjoy the pics you post of flowers, buddy, etc. but this one I absolutely loved. It cracked me up and it takes a lot of doing at 4am when I want nothing more than to be asleep.

Julie Weathers said...

http://www.mushroomexpert.com/phallus_impudicus.html

I think this, is most likely your fun guy, er, fungi. Sorry.

Julie Weathers said...

Ah, I see Althea found it. Forgive me, Elise hied me over here and I couldn't resist. Now, I really do need sleep.

Darlene said...

Wow. I thought you didn't hallucinate until after you consumed the mushroom.

A Novel Woman said...

So Dingo, did you have sweet dreams or nightmares?

Julie, "phallus impudicus" is just too good not to share.

And Darlene, well, the smell of this thing alone was enough to make one hallucinate. The veiled stinkhorn, indeed.

althea preston said...

You know, the bad part (like the stink wasn't bad enough!) is that it started life as a puffball mushroom. They 'puff' their little spores to the wind and where there's one, next year, there will be lots more!

I know this because there are several species and they grow along the back of our property. Not the stinky ones, the plain ones. But where we started out with one or two, we now have hundreds...

charlotte carroll said...

hey... Um... ever seen the cover of Tori Amos's album "Little Earthquakes".... she has a collection of this particular type of fungi drawn on the cover.

Trudy said...

I'm with Word Gardener - call CSI!

Julie Weathers said...

Apparently, they produce the smell of rotten meat to attract flies to spread their spores. The black coating is the spore cover and they don't go airborne like most most mushroom spores. Nature really is amazing, and obviously has a sense of humor.

So glad you shared this. I had to blog about it. Yes, I know, my life is boring when I get this tickled about a mushroom.

A Novel Woman said...

Althea, the spores are spread by the flies, and I'm hoping they spread them far, far away. The smell seems to have attracted some kind of animal to the backyard (we have skunks living under the front porch and raccoons everywhere) and whatever it was, it dug holes everywhere, probably in search of rotting meat.

Charlotte, all I see on Tori's cover is Tori in a box. Where are the rude 'shrooms?

And Julie, never use the words "tickled" and "mushroom" in the same sentence when you're talking about the Phallus Impudicus. Tch.

A Novel Woman said...

Trudy!

Are we going to see you in Surrey? I promise I won't bring the 'shroom.

Trudy said...

Hi Pam!
It doesn't look like I'm going to make it this year - but I never know...might still show up for the Friday. Are you taking master classes this year?

althea preston said...

You're right. It's just the stinkhorns that do that. All others 'puff' their spores, usually through a little hole in the top.

Little hole! HAH!

And this is going downhill in a hurry, but here's a slightly different one that is...even more...yeah, that.

http://schmidling.com/stink3.jpg

A Novel Woman said...

Trudy, Oh try to come, at least for some of it, and especially the partay.

Yes, I'm signed up for two master classes, assuming I can stay awake long enough (the jet lag always kills me.) The mapping your writing for kids first and then the intimately human and the grandly cosmic (he's a great speaker and I've come to love SciFi, go figure.)

A Novel Woman said...

Althea, I think that's what they look like when the brown skin is eaten by the flies.

The one in the yard still stinks like no one's business....

Donna Boucher said...

Oh my gosh.
You totally crack me up.

I am so glad those are not in my yard. Mushrooms freak me out...when they don't look like private parts!!!!

A Novel Woman said...

Imagine how my poor, innocent litte dog felt, Miz Booshay.

I'm hoping it was a one time thing, since we had such a wet summer. I can't imagine a crop of those things.

I'd have to call it my Chippendale Corner Garden or something....

Rhonda said...

Mercy! It seems you discovered another trick of Mother Nature... you captured an uncircumcised mushroom erection? You would think these things would come out in the spring! LOL! You get the Rowdy-Girl post of the month!

Rhonddalyn

A Novel Woman said...

Rhonddalyn!!

Yay! I'm an official Rowdy Girl!

How many sleeps until we meet? (g)

Bush Babe (of Granite Glen) said...

Pam... that is too funny!!!
I have a little Down Under (sorry!) Mother Nature effort here!

That Mother Nature... she has a wicked, wicked sense of humour!!
:-)
BB

A Novel Woman said...

Ah, Bush Babe you slay me as usual.

Since I did the research on my "phallus impudicus" (and I never get tired of hearing that in my head and its always in Michael Palin's voice) my Inbox is now jammed with spam encouraging me to try Viagra.

Clearly if the phallus 'shroom in question can be described as "impudicus" then no Viagra will ever be needed.

Bekah said...

ooooh my. thats just....kind of disturbing.

Slug-A-Bed said...

I found you via PW. Am I ever glad I did. This is too funny, I'm sending my peeps over here! Hope you don't mind. I love word gardeners comment about Mary no longer being contrary!

A Novel Woman said...

Ah, Bekah, it depends on your perspective. Some people might find this a thing of beauty. (I, however, am not one of them.)

Slug-a-bed, I welcome you and your peeps! And yes, Mary has found her voice, no?

A Novel Woman said...

My laptop is acting up worse than a two-year-old on a sugar high. I am currently locked out of my Blogger Dashboard, which means no new posts until I get the blasted thing fixed or I get a new laptop.

Sorry folks, but I will be back ASAP

Deniz Bevan said...

Chippendale Corner! LOL! This is the most hilarious thing I've seen in days - it could only crop up in your backyard, as though it new you would be there to take photos of it's lace collar! Too bad there's no way to transmit the smell; gross as it may be I've never smelled one before!