This is a Puffball mushroom. A friend brought it from Kebler Pass where she reported seeing lots of them. It is a smaller size that has not started to sporulate in the center. This one is about to become lasagna.
One thing I've noticed over the last couple of years is the tendency to scrutinize every vagary of weather in light of global climate change. I fear this micro-view can turn out to be misleading, since weather patterns always have and always change from year to year, sometimes dramatically. Let's not let normal, transient changes distract us from the big picture, where change is more visible in longer-term trends.
We hiked up Steven's Gulch this morning. I was surprised to see so many ripe raspberries. I've always nibbled on them when I'm bowhunting which always starts the last Saturday in August, so it seems early to me.
I can't say I'm seeing more mushrooms and puffballs, but a friend who hunts mushrooms was concerned that with the lack of moisture earlier that there may not be any. Sounds like she need not worry.
The last couple weeks I've noticed more puff balls and mushrooms than I've ever seen in my 9 summers on Black Mesa (30 miles east of Crawford, 12 miles west of Blue Mesa Dam. I assume this is because of all the rains of the last month and my ground is much more moist than normal.
The wild crawfish are still running in the Atchafalaya Basin, extending the season later into the summer than anyone can remember. The crawfishermen say the water came late, but in past seasons like this, the crawfish never ran this far into August.