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

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.skelton.vigil
    MORENCI’S three Skelton brothers were remembered with both tears and laughter last week during a candlelight vigil at Wakefield Park. Several people came out of the crowd to give their recollection of the boys who have now been missing for five years.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • 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.

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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