In August, I blogged about fungus. (If you get that mixed up, you could say I fogged about blungus.) I promised I’d share about a weird growth that sometimes turns up in my yard — and it has!
Turns out this whiffle-ball-type thing is Clathrus ruber — a kind of stinkhorn. Apparently, it shows up on decaying tree roots, and the smell attracts flies. Then it just disappears. That would explain why it always shows up in the same general area — right at the base of a scrub pine tree that didn’t make it after Hurricane Wilma two years ago.
There are almost as many plants on the U.S. Endangered Species List as there are animals in the state of Florida. As the Lakeland Ledger points out, though, endangered plants don’t get the same protection that endangered wildlife do. Considering that many of Florida’s endangered plants live here and nowhere else in the world, that’s really something. The article says proposed budget cuts could hurt these extremely rare plants and suggests people contact Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson about the issue.
OK, Daytona Beach News-Journal gets an award just for the title of this article alone: ” ‘Shroom boom: Humongous fungus among us.’ “ (This is turning into a really weird news day.) The article says a New Smyrna Beach man has a three-foot-wide clump of mushrooms in his yard, and it goes on to say Floridians are seeing more fungi now during the rainy season.
The article mentions a fungi expert at the University of Florida, which is great for me because I have had a really weird fungus growing in my yard after it rains … I mean really weird. Next time it shows up, I’ll post a photo and contact the UF fungi expert.
I’ve never thought about it much before, but a News-Press article points out there are ways you can keep your home cool just by the design elements you choose, such as paint colors and awnings.
Well, actually, I have thought about it, but only to the extent of my roof: it’s white, to reflect the sun’s rays. (And large shade trees help keep my home cool, even if they do make the roof dirtier by dropping leaves and dirt.)
But this article goes beyond that to suggest window films and blinds block sunshine, too. Using ceiling fans make a room feel cooler without having to make your A/C cooler. Don’t wash or dry clothes, shower or cook in the middle of the day. Don’t put heat-generating appliances next to your thermostat. There are lots of other good tips there. Maybe you have some tips to share?