Every now and then, as The Dog and I wander aimlessly along, we find some mushrooms. The first thing that comes to mind, always, is, I wonder if it’s poisonous? So we take a picture and we trot back home to have a word with our old friend Google. Now, Google knows a lot of stuff, but sometimes it is very hard to get him to understand the question. The problem is he just doesn’t listen and he’s in too much of a hurry. You start typing in your question and before you’re more than a few characters in, he starts listing stuff that he thinks is probably the answer. You get the distinct impression that he has important people asking him serious questions that are really interesting – and he just doesn’t have time to bother with these trifling enquiries about puff something or other.
However, we are persistent and we don’t give up and click off somewhere to buy puff pastry or powder puffs or any of the other things he thought we should do first before we bother him with any more of our silly questions. Puffballs was what we typed in and information on puffballs was what we wanted. Quite often, as soon as he realises we are in one of those moods, he will give up and concentrate on solving our problem. In this case, this is a Common Puffball, and it has a hole in the top where the fine mist of spores were blown out by the wind or some passing vibration – like being kicked, for instance. No, it is not poisonous but this one is far too old to be edible. They are edible when they are young. Google did mention that when they are young they are very difficult to distinguish from the young form of various poisonous and highly poisonous types of mushroom.
That’s interesting, isn’t it?