large earthball
Large earthball

Earthballs Beyond DLSP Nature Trail, Dec 2-15 2010

Since Oct. 5, I've been tracking earthballs on an old road beyond the Nature Trail in Deer Lake State Park. See Oct. 19, 21, 28, and Nov. 4 - 28. On Dec. 2 I found the biggest earthball of the season so far at coordinates 30° 18' 26.4" N, 86° 4' 11.7" W. It was 10.5 cm. across. See above. See Dec. 9 below for a top view a week later.

I didn't see the three grasshoppers in the photo below until seeing it on my computer. They clustered over the old dried up mushroom I've been watching for weeks. See it on this comparison page as soft mushroom in #0858 and #0916.

3 grasshoppers

At the meeting of the Friends of Deer Lake State I was saddened to hear that state politicians might again consider selling this and Camp Helen State Park in efforts to fix government budgets. However, later I heard that Deer Lake SP is low maintenance so might be spared. At the parking lot I found the first earthball I've seen in that area this season. Last season, the biggest and most beautiful earthballs appeared beside the road in a stretch now covered in deep tire tracks. I'm wondering if earthballs will reappear there or not.

On Dec. 9, a few more small earthballs appeared on the old road beyond the Nature Trail. The big one (shown at the top of the page last week) looked like the following photos. On Dec. 16 and 23 this earthball looked much the same. I haven't been back on this road since seeing what might be a bear track (last photo to the right).

biggest earthball to date 12-9-2010spore stufftrack, Florida black bear?

I track progress each week. See Puffball Watch, 2010-2011.

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