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Lycoperdon perlatum

Left Photo: Many years ago I employed a bright young lady called Yvonne Dierkes as a research assistant.  Later, Yvonne went on to better things or at least a lot more money.  During her stay we wandered around the woods on occasion and in Little Tract,  Wellington County Forest, we found this attractive puffball.  We both took several shots and by the time we were finished I don't know who took what as our pictures were virtually identical.    I gladly give Yvonne the credit for this one unless of course some hapless author wants to pay money to use it!  Later Yvonne left us and married one of the  McKinley clan.   I don't know if she changed her name or not.  So Yvonne worked for a Scot then married one.  What a tragic life she had!

Yvonne was looking after my stuff while I was away for the summer in England.    While I was abroad, Yvonne found a mushroom growing in one of our cultures of a nematode predator.   She showed it to one of the Plant Pathologists who told her it was a contaminant and she could discard it.   Yvonne had the wit, however, to diregard this advice and held on to it until I got back. The mushroom proved to be a Hohenbuehelia,  the teleomorph of Nematoctonus N90 and the first carnivorous mushroom;  and, as they say  'the rest is history' !   Click on 'The Jeckyl/Hyde' Hypothesis' for the rest of the story. Good on you, Yvonne! 

Also check 'Predatory Fungi, Wood Decay and the Carbon Cycle'