Koosh Balls in Nature!
Last weekend I went hiking with both dogs (Henry’s first real hike since his leg injury!) in Douthat State Park. On the Blue Suck Falls Trail, I got introduced to a new fungus. The scientific name is Hericium erinaceus. Like fern fronds (a.k.a. fiddleheads), the fungus has a bunch of common names based on its appearance such as “Lion’s Mane Mushroom” and “Hedgehog Mushroom”. Until I was enlightened, I called it something else entirely.
I called it the “Koosh ball fungus”.
Perusing Flickr, it looks like I’m not the only one who has spotted Koosh ball dopplegängers in nature! And these copycats are diverse. With my mushroom, the Plantae, Animalia and Fungi kingdoms are all represented. A variety of habitats are accounted for as well- tropical, underwater and even deserts.
Here are a few of the Koosh ball impersonators, courtesy of Creative Commons:
“koosh?” by Brenda Anderson
“Nature’s Koosh Ball” by mattsabo17
“koosh ball tree” by orphanjones
“It looks like a Koosh!” by skyfall
“Koosh” by omiksemaj
“looks like a koosh ball” by whalt
“au naturale koosh® ball” by druid labs
“Artichoke flower” by Erik++ (The description reads “It kind of looks like a koosh ball”)
“smokey @ 5.37p” by yatta (The description reads “Her famous koosh ball impression.”)
Yup. I do believe this is cause for another Flickr group.