Our early and very wet spring is producing some unseasonal fungus growth this year. "Stinkhorns" usually show up in mid- to late summer, but this year they're early. I always get calls from friends who think they've discovered a morel. Stinkhorns are not morels! But they do resemble them...slightly. But one sniff is enough to put off anyone from trying to eat one. Stinkhorns reek. Flies are attracted to them because they smell like something a fly might want to lay an egg on. When a fly visits a stinkhorn (the part you see is the "fruiting body," or reproductive structure, of the underground fungus), it carries away some stinkhorn spores, which are found on the slimy, business end of the fungus.
The photo was taken in my backyard this morning.
More fun fungus facts:
The latin name of this fungus is Phallus impudicus. #iamnotkidding
The fruiting body forms underground in a gelatinous orb about the size of a golfball. These "eggs" are edible. Some people pickle them. Haven't tried it myself. Probably won't.