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This was a first for me, an amazing cluster of fungi within inches of the Common bird’s nest fungi I blogged about yesterday. Variously named ‘Shooting star’, ‘Shotgun’, Artillery’ and ‘Cannonball’ fungus, Sphaerobolus stellatus gets its name from the way it shoots out its spores, apparently with a popping sound that you can actually hear and at a force that sends them flying up to 6 metres.

220114 shooting star (1)

I haven’t been able to find a lot of information about this fungus except for the Wikipedia entry on the genus Sphaerobolus, which looks reliable and includes some of the more technical details of its eruptive system, if you’re interested in the nitty gritty. I’m planning to return when it’s drier for another look and to get better photos.