Another of Thoreau’s amazing fungus finds, only this one comes back to haunt him.  Installed in his house it reeks the place out, filling it with the heady vapours of dead rats.  As for his comment on nature, I hope it makes you laugh too.

See also his parading a favoured fungus out in the street, like a prize cabbage at a horticulture show.

‘It smelled like a dead rat in the ceiling, in all the ceilings of the house.  Pray, what was Nature thinking when she made this?  She almost puts herself on a level with those who draw in privies.’   16 October 1856

Source: Henry David Thoreau, The Journal 1837-1861, Damion Searls (ed.), preface by John R. Stilgoe (New York: New York Review Books, 2009), p. 415

Photo credit: socialneuron at


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