If anyone ever calls you an old puffball, consider taking it as a compliment. Mushroom guidebooks often refer to certain species having ‘persistent fruitbodies’, that is, they endure–for me, something woody like a bracket fungus typically comes to mind. Other species are highly ephemeral–think of something like a Shaggy Mane mushroom (Coprinus comatus), emerging and turning to an inky mess in a very short time, sometimes a matter of hours. Meanwhile, this Calvatia sp., (pictured above) which looks and feels like a piece of paper full of powder, has peristed through the entire winter. Months of yo-yoing temperatures, freezing rain, hoar frost, snow, and ice, have merely spread its spores around. It seems…unperturbed. Like, “Hey, that’s life…even for a puffball.” I’ve decided to apprentice myself to this purple-spored genius. Maybe I’ll learn a thing or two.