Sunday 17 July 2011: Aliens
Okay, what do you think this is? To me it looks like a starfish next to some odd garlic, but that is not even close. Try Octopus Stinkhorn Fungus, Clathrus archeri, also known as Stinkopus for it's strong odor of decaying flesh. Lucky me, my nose is still stuffed up, so I missed that part, but the carrion smell attracts flies which then spread the spores wherever their dirty little feet may tread.
My neighbor found these in her garden, and better her than me, because if I had come across this on the path you would all still hear me screaming. It's bad enough that she showed it to me, but, dedicated blogger that I am, I overcame my curling toenails and girly noises to share this with all of you.
For those of you that need to know: the starfish-like thing bursts from the white ball, tentacles waving. My big fear as I crouched over this display was that the partially emerged creature on the right would suddenly spring forth like a jack in the box and take a few years of me with it.
If you're really into it, try this.