Anyway, I’ve found some interesting things in my garden before. There were the dozen or so frozen poop piles that welcomed us when we first moved in. Then there were some random soccer balls filled with ant colonies (which I didn’t know were colonized until after I let my kids play with them for an afternoon), there were the dead man’s fingers I found in the back garden under a season’s worth of weeds.
But what I discovered — or, I should say re-discovered — in our front garden over the weekend allowed my ignorance (let’s call it what it is, shall we?) to really glow. I found Nerf darts growing in the flowerbeds. I mean, really. They were growing there. And I remembered several months ago seeing some growing out of the backyard flowerbeds as well.
Now, I’m not a complete idiot. Really, I’m not. I know that Nerf darts don’t grow in the ground. But I thought that maybe they had been left, forgotten, and buried from long ago dart games – and that now they were being expelled by our Mother the Earth to rest eternally in a garbage dump. You know, the way golf balls or old spoons or secret treasures might find their way up from under the earth after years of subterranean living.
And because I am not a conscientious gardener, I did what you’d expect: I just left them there. That was several months ago. This time, when I found the Nerf darts, my husband and kids were with me. So, this time, I couldn’t just shrug, hmph, and move along. Pre-schoolers are far too curious, and my husband is much less prone to improbable theories about things growing out of the flowerbeds.
So we took a closer look. And then we took another look. And then my husband touched one (kind of like you might poke something you half-expect will jump up and run away). He said it didn’t smell good. And then we noticed a Nerf dart “bud.”
Obviously, it’s a fungus. Obviously, it’s not a Nerf dart. And the look I got when I offered up that explanation was quizzical, at its most generous. But really, doesn’t it look like a Nerf dart? And what about these?
Here’s more information about the Elegant Stinkhorn. Do you have one?