Thursday, December 22, 2011

On Stinkhorns

There is a lot of good stuff being written on blogs about Christmas right now.  So, in lieu of adding my completely inadequate two cents to the holiday mix, I'm going to write to you today about a war I'm currently waging in my yard.

For starters, it's almost 80 degrees outside today.  Today, December 22nd.  It's also humid and perfect weather for plants.  Many of them are confused.  Our poor little azaleas are already blooming.  It's also perfect weather for fungus or every kind.

About a month ago I started smelling what I thought was a dead animal somewhere in the woods around our yard.  The next day, Els brought me a handful of some salmon-colored something as I was unloading the car.  Two and two were put together when I realized that she smelled awful.  It was that stuff in her hand that smelled like dead animal!  But, what was it?  Upon closer examination I discovered that our flower beds were riddled with what looked like mushroom-sized salmon aliens growing out of the ground.  They were the culprit.  Not only did they smell of carrion, they were covered in flies.  What the heck?

Stinkhorns.  My nemesis.  I do not exaggerate when I say that for the next few days I was so nauseated by these abominations that I could barely eat.  I wanted to puke every time I walked outside and I could not even look at them.  A quick internet search revealed that I was not alone in my plight.  Although some people inexplicably revere them, others, like me, battle with them, and the only solution is to dig them up, tie them up in plastic bags and throw them away. Eggs and all.

Oh yes, I said eggs.  B and I have decided that stinkhorns have included everything evil and disgusting in their make-up.  They are definitely a result of the fall.  They begin innocently enough as little white eggs just under the surface.  Then they burst forth into all of their salmon octopus/alien, green slime-oozing glory.  Did I mention that they smell like death?  They smell like death so that they can attract flies to spread their spores.  I have a friend who says that hell must be covered with stinkhorns and no-see-ums.

So, every day, I walk our flower beds and dig these things up along with any eggs I find.  What can I say, I lead such a glamorous life.

Why do I write this?  Two reasons:  1-To add my voice to the stinkhorn haters out there.  2-If there is someone who reads this who has done battle with these things and won, please, please tell me what you did.

That will be a great Christmas present for me.