By Cat James As Naturenet photographer, I am always on the lookout for interesting wildlife for the Virtual Ranger to include in this blog. And, once again a walk in the countryside has proffered Something Unusual.
Fungus, eh? Could it be from outer space, with its crazy colours, interesting forms and (occasional) edibility? These huge globes were perched on one of the highest and most unforgiving points of the Isle of Wight – Tennyson Down – with its harsh westerly winds, lack of shelter and grazing cattle. However, in the space of one small stroll I saw a mouse, a lizard and these whoppers, identified as Calvatia utriformis by ecologist Dr Colin Pope.
Dr Pope says “These are not, I think, giant puffballs but a related species, Calvatia utriformis, which is less frequently recorded. It is only edible when young”.