Friday, August 06, 2010

Puffball

On a recent trip into the Owyhees, the Conservancy's director of science, Bob Unnasch (left) and director of stewardship, Art Talsma (right) located this giant puffball--the largest either had ever seen.
It's an impressive example of a common and widespread group of fungi species.
Puffballs consist of a number of groups of fungi, with the notable feature being that they produce their spores internally. The puffballs eventually dry up and split, whereupon their spores are released into the breeze.
This is what gives them their name. Anyone who has stepped on a dried puffball is familiar with the "puff" of spores that explodes from the puffball--almost like smoke.
This particular puffball will no doubt emit a large cloud of spore "smoke." In the meantime, though, it looks pretty good modeling a Nature Conservancy hat...

1 comment:

Idaho Birder said...

I'm glad they got these photos. That thing is huge!!!