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Columbia Missourian

FROM READERS: A wild mushroom discovery

By JOE DILLARD/MISSOURIAN READER
August 2, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CDT
Joe Dillard found these mushrooms in his yard and identified them as Thiers Amanita (Amanita thiersii).

Joe G. Dillard, a longtime Columbia resident, recently published his first book, "A Full Cup of Joe," a autobiography of his funny life experiences thus far.

LWO (Little White Objects): What Are They?

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Two LWO came into view as I was going up our driveway admiring our fresh mowed lawn. "What the cat hair are those things?" I mused to myself.

From a distance, my first thought was that they were LWD (Little White Dogs). I looked again; can’t be they are too little. Then I thought they might be LWB (Little White Birds). Nope; they are too big.

Then it struck me; OMG, they might be LWA (Little White Aliens)! So, I raced into the house, grabbed the binoculars and sneaked a peek out of the locked front door. If it was LWA, they may have come down from another universe to beam me up for some kind of bizarre biological experiment! So, I was much relieved to see two beautiful white mushrooms.

Once I had calmed down a bit, I grabbed my copy of the Missouri Department of Conservation’s “Missouri’s Wild Mushrooms” by Maxine Stone and found out that my two LWO were actually real healthy specimens of mushrooms called Thiers Amanita (Amanita thiersii).

According to Maxine, the cap and stem of this species is large, white, sticky and shaggy and they usual appear in July and August, sometimes in fairy rings. The cap width is 2 to 6 inches and the stalk is 3 to 8 inches tall.

Usual habitat is lawns (like mine), pastures or prairies. (Gustatorial Note: they are not edible!) This mushroom was named after Missouri mycologist, Dr. Harry Thiers (1919-2000).

Now, I can enjoy my two LWO without fear of being bitten by some LWD, pecked by some LWB or being captured by some LWA!

What's showing up in your yard or garden this time of year? Consider sharing your photos with a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. Here's how. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.