Sunday, November 30, 2008

Stinky and his pals

The things that pop up in your garden sometimes! Out of the sugar cane mulch this afternoon arose this little temporary red tower, a stinkhorn fungus. As far as the flies are concerned, Stinky the Stinkhorn is Mr (or Ms) Irresistible. That alluring stench of rotting flesh does it for them every time.

When you look at them close up, flies do have the most remarkable colourings. Sure, if you've really got that inbuilt biological hatred for flies and refuse to see any good in them, you could say the colours look like an oil slick in the sunshine, but if you just see them as an indispensible part of the ecology of managing waste in the environment, flies do look quite pretty.

So too does Stinky. Has a slight pagoda/temple look to its little turret of temptations, and the two-tones of pink are very newborn-fresh, perfectly suited to its short but colourful stay here on Earth.

Whole crowds of flies can't believe their luck. A big dead pink thing – wow! Little do they realise they're helping the fungus to reproduce, carrying its spores to new sites after they've climbed all over it. Try as I might I couldn't actually smell anything that resembled rotting flesh, but the experts assure me that's what a stinkhorn does, so I'll just have to take their word for it.

1 comment:

Chookie said...

If you want to get to smell it, squash it with your boot first!