We had reached the end of this particular ravine, so back down we went to find a way up.

We could not believe this patch of puffballs escaped us on the way up. A different perspective or had we simply been looking up?

Open wide and be free!

This beauty was only showing its white rim at the apex when I spotted it! The Ravenel’s Stinkhorn (Phallus ravenelii) has a smooth cap. Stinkhorns are predominately a saprophytic (feeds on dead and decomposing plants) fungi. The genus Phallus has a phallic appearance, hence has led to folklore and superstitions. My favorite story I found was a Nigerian folklore belief that it could make a person invisible in the face of danger!

The whole thing! The pinkish part is the volva. The volva is often referred as the egg before the fruiting body emerges. Next, the stem/stalk, and then the cap. It can be just hours for it to stick its head up out of the volva.

Most of the mushrooms, like the puffballs above, rely on the wind to disperse their spores. In this case, a stinkhorn’s slimy stuff is the gleba where the spores are located. It is supposed to have fetid odor, however it has never had a particular stinky smell to me. The stinkhorns utilizes flies and other insects to spread the spores. Some critters ingest the spores while on others, the spores just stick to them.

The volva or “egg” is gelatinous inside. I’ve seen an egg once when we had moved some dirt near the house. See my post Slick as snot.

Split open! So you can see that it was hollow from the top of the cap to the very bottom of the stalk.

Finally, I will end here with its attachment(rhizomorph) to the soil. The bottom is at the top in this photo. I hope you feel as lucky as I do when you see one in your neighborhood! And Happy New Year’s Eve!

The Early Bird Gets…the Truffle? Birds Hunt for Fungi, Too

“Completes the Circle”: A 40-Year Scientific Journey Leads to a New Truffle Species

Ancient fungi found in deep-sea mud

Seabed mining is coming — bringing mineral riches and fears of epic extinctions

Mining the Bottom of the Sea

Keep looking!

The more you know, the more you see and the more you see, the more you know.


  1. Mining the sea floor really bothers me. We will just mess it up like weve done everything else weve mined. And i bet i could smell the stinkhorn. Love the puffballs.

  2. Mining the ocean scares me. Hope CEOs and gov’t wake up soon. I bet you could smell the stinkhorns too. Though I had read that some don’t smell much. I get a faint whiff of an earth smell, not a stinky smell.

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