Thursday, August 25, 2016

Olfactory mystery.

We love our floor to ceiling windows in the great room, but we discovered that at certain times of the year, light reflecting off the glass causes birds to become confused. Many fly toward the glass but realize their error just before impact and pull up short. They can't stop, but their natural motion causes their breasts to hit the glass. Usually, it knocks the wind out of them for a while, but they recover and fly off wiser.

But some birds don't react and hit the glass head on. The sound is different. Whenever I hear it, I head out back to get the shovel, because they don't survive.

These past few weeks, each time we walked from the driveway to our doorsteps, we smelled something rank. I kept looking for dead birds but could not find anything.

Our dogs are notorious for slaying chipmunks, but I couldn't find and dead critters either.

This morning I stepped outside while the coffee was brewing and the stench almost made me wretch.
Roadkill mushrooms
When I told Jilda, she said, "Do you think it could be those mushrooms that are sprouting up all over the yard?" I didn't think that was the case, but I told her I would investigate.

This evening after work, I walked out to see if I could find the source of the stink. Over near the bird feeders, a mushroom as big as a softball had turned dark brown and was about to return to the earth. With a small shovel and a stick (I wasn't sure if they were poisonous) I scoop the decomposing mushroom into the shovel and moved it close to my nose.

It only took an instant to determine that the 'shrooms were causing the stink.

Over the next twenty minutes, I must have shoveled up 30 decomposing mushrooms and buried them.
I'm glad we finally got to the bottom of this olfactory mystery.


  1. This product may help Many of the birds that seem to survive later die of internal injuries.

    Mushrooms...who knew?

  2. Wow, I don't think I have ever come across a fetid fungus. Dead horse lilies (which my mother grew) are pretty special though.
    The sound of a bird hitting the glass head on is awful isn't it. And, like a car crash, once heard never forgotten.

  3. We had the same problem in my childhood home. And most of the birds didn't survive. Very sad. Glad you found the source of the smell. Strange things popping up all over.

  4. We occasionally have birds that fly headlong into the window. It is a sickening sound. Never had stinky mushrooms though. Yuck.

  5. It is such a frustration when you cannot detect the source of a nasty odor.I'm reminded of the guy who put sardines in the curtain rods of the house his wife won in the divorce settlement.

    Who wudda thought mushrooms? Well other than a wise wife? ;-)
    Glad you discovered that soon.

    Yes it is a shame about bird collisions.

  6. I had no idea mushrooms could smell so bad.

  7. I know bugga all about mushrooms, except that I don't like the taste of them


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