From the American Audubon Society’s Field Guide to Mushrooms:
At a distance, the Giant Puffball is easily mistaken for a soccer ball, and it can be many times larger. Most puffballs are much smaller, however, and range in size between that of a golf ball and that of a softball. An average-size specimen has been estimated to contain 7 trillion spores.
We found three softball-sizers today at Lambton Woods.
Lambton Woods scenes:
8 am group:
Bird Species list: double-crested cormorant, great egret, Canada goose, mallard, American black duck, Cooper’s hawk, red-tailed hawk, killdeer, herring gull, mourning dove, downy woodpecker, red-bellied woodpecker, hairy woodpecker, blue jay, American crow, black-capped chickadee, white-breasted nuthatch, American robin, house sparrow, northern cardinal, American goldfinch, song sparrow. (22 species)
O sweet September rain!
I hear it fall upon the garden beds,
Freshening the blossoms which begin to wane. – Mortimer Collins (1827–76)
Lambton Woods produces giant puffballs most years, some years in surprising numbers. They are edible as long as they are harvested when they are pure white throughout. Small ones can be confused with young amanitas which can appear as white egg-shaped mushrooms. Slice one of those in half and you will see the shape of a mushroom within the egg. Slice a puffball in half and it will be solid white. Some of the amanita mushrooms are deadly poisonous, so my rule is to slice every puffball I plan to eat in half to make sure it is solid white. Giant puffballs will eventually begin to discolour as they become spore factories. Avoid eating them once they are no longer pure white. Many people prepare puffballs by slicing into steaks, dipping in egg and then in breadcrumbs and frying for a couple minutes on each side. Very tasty.