Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mutinus Elegans - So Not What I Expected The Rain To Bring

And you thought "April showers brought May flowers", didn't you? Well, it seems God decided to mix it up a bit. Bring a little something different, and dare I say, uplifting?

This morning, we headed over to get cute, fluffy Frazier and discovered that he had turned into rabid Old Yeller. A side effect, I presume, from being unable to frolic and cavort in our backyard for the past eternity. When we tried to take him out to use the bathroom, he started barking - at the grass, at the rock in the flower bed, at Sophie, at me, at the car passing by, at the air, at his tail. BARKBARKBARKBARKBARK! Those who know me know I don't do yippity yap, so I prompty turned back towards his front door to take him inside. When he realized where he was headed, he went berserk. Thrashing, spinning, helicoptering himself around on his leash. I thought the little kook was going to strangle himself, so I picked him up and proceeded to carry him through the front door - all the while with him bucking and kicking and just giving me the WHAT FOR. Sophie and I could hear him ranting away, getting louder and more ticked off with each step we took back to our house. I'm pretty sure if we would've been fluent in "dog language", I would have needed to cover Sophie's ears from all the potty words Frazier was using.

It was around that time Mrs. Earnestine came outside and motioned for us to come "take a quick look at something". She had a weird expression on her face - something between "this is cool!" and "you might wanna cover your child's eyes because this may not be suitable for her viewing". I didn't know what the heck she was going to show me, but I'm telling you, I wasn't expecting this:

The red one lying on the ground is what happened after Mrs Earnestine touched it with a stick. She said it let out a little puff of who-knows-what from its base, and then keeled over.

Meet Mutinus Elegans. An alien-like little fungus-y dude that apparently can appear after too much rain. From the literature: "Stinkhorns frequently bewilder people by popping up in lawns, thrusting their slime-covered tips into the world within a matter of hours. They have been much maligned over the years, probably because they stink and they often look like penises (human, canine, or alien). Unlike other mushrooms, the stinkhorn distributes its spores by applying an odorous, spore-thick slime to its tip, which flies and other insects are attracted to."

Way weird and most definitely stinky. Sophie clapped her hand over her nose and exclaimed, "I smell REAR END, mama!" when we got within five feet of the thing. (Lovely.) Apparently they can be "horn-like", like Mrs. Earnestine's. Or they can be more...um...well. And they're not kidding about how fast they can pop up. When Mrs. Earnestine found Mr. Elegans early this morning, he was by himself. An hour later, he had invited a friend. Tomorrow morning she'll probably find this...

If she does, so help me, we're moving back to Albuquerque.

Penises growing up out of the dirt, people. Most definitely an indicator that we need some sunshine and some drying action 'round these parts asap!

19 comments:

Shayna said...

That is so cool! I love fungi and I have never seen that one before. (Nor any other R-rated 'shrooms...) Thank you for documenting it with photographs! I will have to be on the lookout - we're about to get drowned out here, too.

sarah p said...

and now i've learned something today. it's only 7:45am! what ELSE will this day hold? =) that's hilarious.

Kritter Krit said...

What was it that Michael Scott said about "Mr. Elegans" for a woman? ..."In the right context it's a beautiful thing. Otherwise it's a nightmare!"

Oh, man. I'm not even kidding. I had some doozie nightmares last night. I couldn't get those little buggars out of my head! =0

Anonymous said...

O.K. We've had as much rain as y'all, and I don't find one of those things in my gardens or yard! In fact, in all the years of gardening, I've never seen one of them! Are they PECULIAR to Fayetteville? Love, Mooms

Amelia said...

Oh. My. Goodness. Kristy, I could not stop laughing at your post. Can I cross post to my blog? Freaking hilarious. My maiden name would make your post very à propos. Yeah, wouldn't you like to know. ;)

Kritter Krit said...

Hey Amelia,

Yes, certainly, feel free to cross reference to your blog.

IF...

You tell me your maiden name. Man! Now I have to know!! I've gotten all giggly just sitting here trying to figure out what it could possibly be! ;)

Courtney said...

Whoa! Thanks for the invite over, it was well worth it :-) That is just about the strangest/most disturbing thing I have ever seen in nature. Love that Sophie said it smells like "rear-end", you are raising her right. That is what us good ol' Texans call a backside, too.
Loved the commentary, thanks for the laugh tonight. It's been a rough day and this was a nice finish!

Lisa said...

Oh.my. WHAT?? We've composed ourselves somewhat after the shock. So funny, Kristy. I think I would have screamed if I had gone outside to find that in my flower bed! You guys need some sunshine. Fast.

Joyce said...

Just popped over from Boo Mama's...it sounded like a challenge : ) That is one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time.

I live in the UK and most days feel your pain when it comes to the weather. I've never seen a mutinus elegans here though.

Hoping you see the sunshine this weekend!

Kristy said...

OH. MY. WORD. That is out of control!!
I am giggling like a 7th grader!

Chantelle said...

HA! HA! HA! Thanks so much for sharing that. I NEEDED that laugh!! BIZARRE!!!!!! ("I smell rear end." HA!)

travis said...

So how do you get rid of them? Cut them off? Dig 'em out? The mere thoughts are making me hurt.

Kritter Krit said...

Travis,

You "gently" apply a fungicide to its base. (I'm not even kidding you. It was in the literature. Apparently the gentle part is so you don't activate the spore distribution.)

Aunt Jules said...

I think the worst part of the picture is the fly on the fungi. Makes me kind of sick. In a good way.

Kritter Krit said...

I know, the fly ups the classiness to a whole new level.

team larsen said...

Thank you for not putting the photos at the BEGINNING of the post. I might not have read on...

Big AI night tonight!! I can't wait!!

Anonymous said...

I feel strangely inadequate after reading this post.

Bobbie said...

i'm giggling to hard to say anything real. Gosh, I have such a sense of humor!

Anonymous said...

I have that DISCUSTING Mutinus Elegans in my mulch bed!! It is scary, smells like I don't know what, I'm afraid of it.

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