I saw this strange fungus on the walking path last week, and wondered if it were a puffball type. My nephew saw the photo on Instagram and told me it looked like Shaggy Mane Fungus. I thought he might be joking, but Wikipedia gave me the straight scoop: It is indeed Shaggy Mane, a.k.a. Coprinus comatus. “This mushroom is unusual because it will turn black and dissolve itself in a matter of hours after being picked or depositing spores…” It grows “in places which are often unexpected, such as green areas in towns.” The ones I saw were just up the bank from the creek. You can cook and eat the Shaggy Mane — I guess if you do so before it “dissolves itself.”
We are warned not to confuse it with the magpie fungus, Coprinopsis picacea, which is poisonous, and looks like this one, at right.
Or with the common inkcap fungus, Coprinopsis atramentaria, whose botanical name also starts with Coprin-, but whose form is nothing similar.
I’ll be interested to see what condition my specimens are in next time I meet them.
I haven’t walked in a downpour yet, but for a few days now I’ve been walking in drizzles and showers, and it has been a watering for my soul. When you live where there is perpetual drought, because it’s not the kind of environment that was ever suitable for this much population, it makes you grateful for every drop.
One day it was a cloud that wrapped me in dampness,
and made a pearly backdrop for Queen Anne’s lace still standing blackened from winter.
All of the plants and animals are happy, too. I saw two pair of mallards carrying on some kind of loud quacking communication, swimming toward each other in the creek, then away from each other… I wondered if they were arguing about who would be hosting whom for the better meal of bugs and polliwogs?
This morning that stream was high and deep from last night’s heavy rain. Frogs rejoiced.
All the blossoms are dripping and shining.
At home, euphorbia flowers were cups offering me baby sips, and the iris that opened in the night was like a canvas showcasing a multitude of raindrops in different sizes.
Now in the afternoon, the sun has come out,
and I’m considering taking a sunshiny walk to round out the day!
That would be a very Spring-y thing to do, wouldn’t it?