Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Found a strange stinkhorn fungus

Our neighbor Jane and I found an orange and white stinkpot fungus, opened and with its resinous foul liquid mess in the middle, meant, I suppose, to attract insects which will then bear the spores elsewhere. It sure does stink. Never seen one before but in books. Where's a mycologist when you want one?

Garrison Keillor''s got an entry in his Almanack which interests me in that the writer is from my home state. Here's the opening of the entry. You can click the link to the Writers' Almanac to read more on today's date, and even listen to it via streaming audio.

It's the birthday of Edward Gorey, born in Chicago, Illinois (1925). He's known for writing and illustrating many morbidly funny books, including The Beastly Baby (1962), The Wuggly Ump (1963), and The Epiplectic Bicycle (1969). He said of his childhood., "I like to think of myself as a pale, pathetic, solitary child... But I wasn't at all. I was out there playing kick-the-can."

Gorey drew his first pictures when he was one and a half years old but he said, "I hasten to add they showed no talent whatsoever. They looked like irregular sausages." He taught himself to read at age three, and by the time he was five, he had read Dracula and Alice In Wonderland, which remained two of his favorite books for the rest of his life.

After high school, he served in the U.S. Army, working a desk job at a testing ground for mortars and poison gas. He studied French literature at Harvard...(continue reading "It's the birthday...)


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