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Just some weird Texas things:

Texas is one of only three states to have an official State Mushroom. It's shaped like a star, so that makes sense.

It's known colloquially as a "Devil Cigar". Alright.

It.... hisses?

Chorioactis geaster is incredibly rare and has only been found in the USA and Japan so far. Neat! It was recently spotted along a trail at Inks Lake State Park (northeast of Austin, near Buchanan Lake).

In spite of the fact that the mushroom hisses while releasing spores, it is harmless to be around, in spite of the narratives we've been shown in really popular TV shows. I wouldn't try eating it, though.

Cute or creepy? Why not both? Actually, cute and creepy might be my favorite combination and I am finding myself utterly obsessed with this Fun Guy. The fact that it likes to live in Texas and Japan, maybe exclusively, is really cool, too.

This further brings home the fact that Texas State Parks are important in preserving habitats for rare, weird, and wonderful animals, plants, and even fungi. The opportunity to discover and enjoy the big world of Texas nature is something the Texas public deserves and should take advantage of when possible. I've been jonesing to go hiking anyway, and this weird mushroom isn't curbing that desire at all.

Inks Lake State Park has plenty of amenities and things to do like swimming, backpacking, camping, hiking, sports, and whatever geocache-ing is. I guess I have another new thing to discover in Texas Parks.

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