Sunday, September 6, 2009

Curculio and the Giant Mushroom.

While we were resting atop a little peak in Harriman State Park today, this friendly Acorn Weevil (genus Curculio) flew over to say hello. I know these guys can be destructive, but it had an incredibly cute, round, owl-like face--with great big eyes on each side of that long snout, and little wispy antennae coming off the sides of the snout. It marched around on my hand for a few minutes, and then decided it had better things to do (like piercing acorn shells with its long snout, which has a miniature saw on the end, so it can lay eggs in the acorn nut meat inside).

We didn't see nearly as many mushrooms today, perhaps because it has been a little drier this last week. I was kind of disappointed, because I had gotten used to seeing all kinds of weird fungi--and was looking forward to a stinkhorn-hunt. No stinkhorns to be found, but we did come across this granddaddy mushroom near the end of our hike. It was huge, a good 8" diameter at least, and had weird little tendrils hanging off of the cap which made it look like a jellyfish.

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