Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Giant Delicious Mushrooms in Gainesville Florida

In early August the grand children and I were exploring some forest near our house in Gainesville, Florida.  During our walk we discovered giant mushrooms!  After checking with Dr. James Kimbrough, a retired University of Florida mycologist, who declared them edible, we washed the mushrooms, cut them in pieces, parboiled them, drained off the water, added butter and spices, and were treated to a new food.

Mirin and Rose with giant mushrooms
Rose and Mirin holding amazing giant edible mushrooms.

They had a firm texture and a mild taste.  Overall, they were really good!  Also appearing now are chanterelles, and our favorite - the orange capped Lacterius hygrophoroides.

If anyone knows the name of this mushroom, please let me know by e-mailing me.

Glass Lizard Eggs Found in a Gainesville Florida Yard

In June I had to replace the water line to our house in Gainesville, Florida.  The house was built in 1957 and they used galvanized iron pipe for the main water line.  By 2012 this pipe had developed several leaks and so many rust nodules inside that only a trickle of water came out.  If the washer was running or someone flushed a toilet, forget about taking a shower.  I could not have done this without the help of my neighbor Ben.  He’s unemployed, with time on his hands, and some knowledge of plumbing.  

First problem was to dig up the old water line which skirted part of the butterfly garden.  Part way into it we dug up a nest of rather large reptile eggs.  But what were these?  Some kind of snake?  One of the eggs was damaged and I could see that it was a glass lizard.   

So we gathered the eggs in a clay flower pot half filled with sand.  I covered them with leaf litter and stowed them in an aquarium with a screen top.  I added just a little water to keep the eggs moist.  We saw the mama glass lizard nearby where we had found the nest.  She had been guarding the nest and was really very sad that we dug up her eggs.    

Mirin and Rose releasing the baby glass lizards.

After a few weeks the baby glass lizards emerged and we happily released them back into the garden.

One of the seven Eastern Glass Lizard babies.

A baby Eastern Glass Lizard recently hatched from an egg.