Greeting me on a recent foggy winter morning garden walk was a specimen of the fascinating Clathus columnatus, better known as column stinkhorn. It lives on dead and decaying organic matter, so is often seen growing in mulched areas. In the US, it’s typically seen East of the Mississippi, but many mycologists theorize it was actually introduced into the US. It has a unique fragrance to lure flies to disperse it’s spores, but the temperatures were so cool when I took this image, I couldn’t pick up any scent. What a cool gift of nature.
Walking through the nursery this week, we spotted a fascinating triangle orbweaver spider (Verrucosa arenata). These cuties are usually seen in late summer and fall in open woodlands. Their diet focuses on small insects such as mosquitoes, but cause no harm to humans, except arachnophobes. We love the color echo with the ground fabric and pieces of bark.
As fall temperatures drop, it’s not unusual to find our native bees asleep in some of the most interesting places. We caught this carpenter bee fast asleep on the job this week, clinging tightly to the spines of an Agave parryi.
We love fall not just because of the weather, the colorful foliage, the fall bloomers, but also for the fall fungus. It seems like some of the most incredible fungus of the year happens in fall. When we go outside to take plant photos, it’s hard to resist the amazing fungi as well. Like sand castles at the beach, fungi are quite ephemeral, so our only memories are through captured images. Here are few shots from the last week.
Working in the garden recently and stumbled on these flower calyces (the things that protect a developing flower bud) from a nearby Japanese persimmon. Nature creates the most amazing art if we just slow down enough to notice.