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!