Giant Fungi Attack Small New England Town - August 2009
STURBRIDGE, MA: The quaint town of Sturbridge, MA, is under siege by mysterious, enormous fungi. Numerous residents have reported that their lawns and gardens are little more than havens for toadstools and never before seen varieties of mushrooms. A summer of heavy rains and overcast skies has taken its toll on this usually drought-ridden area.
"I came home from vacation, and I had to chop down the mushrooms before I could cut the lawn," one victim proclaimed. "The mushrooms were as big as pancakes."
"Usually, by this time of the year our lawns have gone into dormancy from lack of rain," stated another home owner. "But this year even the folks with sprinkler systems have been able to turn them off and just rely on the rains."
But not all residents are taking the appearance of the fungi in stride. "Some of these growths are downright creepy," added one gardener. "I have to wonder if they weren't placed here by aliens or grew from some sort of oceanic upsurge."
While some residents are methodically removing the fungi using manual methods, others have raided the shelves of local nurseries for bottles of anti-fungal solution. Such sprays do appear to have some effect on preventing further growth.
While no unusual beings have come forward to claim credit for the fungi, residents are forewarned to use caution in dealing with the newly-appeared growths. They may be poisonous or cause undesirable skin reactions.
"If I knew whether they were edibile, I might saute them with my steak," one fellow was heard to say. "But I really can't identify these, so I'll just have to stay on top of them with my weed wacker."
Story written by Kathryn Acciari. While the photographs are of true fungi, the story and quotes are entirely fictitious. No fungus was harmed in the making of this story.
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Kathryn Acciari, RSPS, SRS, RESE, CFA
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