Have you ever seen one of these?
Well, I had not either until a few weeks ago. In fact, the sight sort of freaked me. The first one of these things peeked up through our low-growing landscape greenery.
My first reaction was that somehow, a baby carrot had taken root and started to grow. But why is half of it covered in slimy brown? Ugh!
I looked closer and spotted a tiny opening in the tip. Was it the thing’s mouth, or perhaps an opening on the other end?
Then I thought, wait, maybe this is some sort of creature and that freaked me even more.
The next morning, the brown-tipped-carrot thingy was gone. So that convinced me it was alive and on the move or why would it be gone? And a couple of days later, something that looked just like the first one appeared in another location in the landscaping.
I steered clear of the area and made Brian go have a look. He took a hoe and knocked it over, only to state that it is some sort of fungus. Why did it take me so long to give it a Google? I typed in “fungus that looks like carrot” I learned that what we have is a mutinus caninus, commonly known as a stinkhorn.
There are many references and photos that look just like ours. There’s even a YouTube video about them. It seems I’m not the only one who finds them a bit freaky.
Right now we have several stinkhorns. They come and they go within inches of each other. Apparently the way they come and go is that spores are spread through the brown slime the fungus secretes (probably through that tiny red opening at the top). Insects such as flies apparently find the slime appealing, and tote the spores away where they are spread.
They are supposed to have a foul odor, thus their nickname. I’m not getting close enough to find out!
But the stinkhorns are far from the only orange oddities in the front-porch area of our home. Last night on Halloween I stepped out to find this!
Brian carved the pumpkin on Sunday. Little-known Brian Cronk fact: He loves to carve pumpkins! He always carves at least one. So Sunday evening he asked me if we had duct tape. I found it and he said he didn’t know if he needed it after all. I didn’t think anything about it and didn't inquire further.
Then when I stepped onto the porch on Halloween, I spotted this poor fella with the duct-taped faced. Brian said that yes, he accidentally cut the nose off so the tape held it in place.
“No one will even notice once it gets dark,” he said.
Well, being the supportive wife that I am, of course I texted photos of the pumpkin to the boys and Allison and we all had a good laugh. Allison was by far the most sympathetic of the lot.
But he was right. Once it was dark, the pumpkin shone brightly. And the pumpkin’s make-do facelift wasn’t even noticeable.