The first stage of it's life cycle is an 'egg' stage; they emerge from the mulch like some sort of space oddity. After a day or two the egg sprouts an 'eye' and grows into it's phallic form. The tip of the 'shroom becomes dark colored and produces a sweet slime that insects are attracted to. This is how the spores are dispersed. After a day or two the mushroom turns into a gelatinous mess and rots. At some point in this cycle you will notice the stench. In previous years we had just a few; nothing to notice much of a smell. This year, there were enough that I could smell them about ten feet from the garden. It was bad enough that I had to take matters into my own hands and pull them out before even more started decomposing. It was a nasty task, let me tell you! I have made a mental note not to dump out the bird bath in the same place every day; especially in an area that is quite shaded.
So, that's your lesson on fungi. They aren't always such fun guys. Bwahahaha!
|Decaying mushroom with mulch stuck on it's sticky parts|
|The bucket o' 'shrooms I gathered|
|See the 'eyeball' on that egg? Caught that one before it became trouble!|
|What a stinkin' mess!|