The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

Stinkhorns: the Devil's fungus

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN 

Rosie Hoadley knew something strange was happening in her back yard last week, but she sure didn’t know what it was.

It turns out it was the attack of the stinkhorns.

fungus-1 The stinkhorn fungus is unique in many ways. First off, of course, is the color. Although there’s a variety of stinkhorns found all over the world, the species showing up here, the elegant stinkhorn (Mutinus elegans), is a striking orange finger shooting up from the ground. Wayne and Rosie Hoadley had more than half a dozen growing behind their house recently, and other area residents have also discovered the odd visitor.

Next on the stinkhorn’s list of characteristics is its odor. Maybe it should be listed first, because stinkhorns—also known as the devil’s dipstick—are often smelled before they’re seen. There’s no question about how the stinkhorn got its name.

The smell isn’t easy to describe, but think about rotting flesh and you’re getting close to stinkhorn.

Not every living creature considers the stinkhorn to be a foul finger of putrescence. Take a close look at one and you’re likely to find flies that seem to find it quite appealing.

A pungent substance oozes from the top of each finger to attract flies and other insects, and they unwittingly spread the spores of the fungus.

Stinkhorns are also unique in their growth pattern. They open from a white globe that’s mostly under the earth’s surface. The small globe—about the size of a golf ball—is sometimes called a witch’s egg.

Within two or three hours, the orange finger goes from nothing to a height of up to six inches, due to the rapid take-up of water. The cells of the mushroom are extra large, allowing for rapid division. The center of the finger is hollow.

The stinkhorn finger is a short-lived phenomena. Before the day is done, it wilts and collapses—and really stinks.

The “eggs” are attached to the ground by white strings called mycelia. This is actually the main body of the fungus. The orange stalk is more like the “flower.”

Stinkhorn “eggs” are said to be a delicacy in some parts of the world. According to some sources, the orange finger can also be eaten, but the question remains: Why would anyone want to?

   - Aug. 20, 2003

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