I crossed paths with some rare fungi this summer and fall, homeslices.
One of them was not rare per se but rather in rare form. Battarrea phalloides (the Scaly-stalked or Desert Stalked Puffball) is a really bizzare, unique fungus. The spores are elevated on a tall, woody (but lightweight), and often shaggy stipe. This all emerges from a universal veil, and the spore mass often retains a whitish remnant of that tissue on top.
The species if fairly uncommon to rare throughout most of coastal California, but can be abundant and reliable in certain localities of preferred habitat - shitty soils, usually under pine, Brazilian Pepper, and Myoporum trees.
I encountered this one while on a walk with my Rad Host Melina, and her dogs while I was staying in north Oakland this summer. It may be the tallest Battarrea ever recorded. It was truly impressive.