From today's featured article

Calvatia sculpta

Calvatia sculpta, commonly known as the sculpted puffball, is a species of puffball fungus in the family Agaricaceae. Up to 8 to 15 cm (3.1 to 5.9 in) tall by 8 to 10 cm (3.1 to 3.9 in) wide, the pear- or egg-shaped puffball is readily recognizable from the large pyramidal or polygonal warts covering its surface. It is edible when young, before the spores inside the fruit body disintegrate into a brownish powder. Originally described from the Sierra Nevada, C. sculpta is found in mountainous areas in western North America, and was found in a Brazilian dune in 2008. It may be easily confused with Calbovista subsculpta, a similar puffball that—in addition to differences observable only with microscopy—is larger, and has slightly raised warts with a felt-like texture. Other similar species include Calvatia arctica and immature specimens of Amanita magniverrucata. The species was first described in 1885 by American mycologist Harvey Willson Harkness, who called it "a curious and strikingly beautiful species". ( Full article...)

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The Old Musician

The Old Musician is an 1862 oil painting on canvas by the French painter Édouard Manet. Depicting an old musician with a violin surrounded by listeners, the painting has been seen as influenced by Spanish art and the work of Gustave Courbet. This work is one of Manet's largest paintings and is now held at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Photograph: Édouard Manet

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