Mushroom picker Don Smith of Mossley, Ont., was walking his daughter’s dog on his 100-acre property when he stumbled across a massive puffball in the woods.
The 84-year-old man says he has never seen a wild mushroom that big in his entire life.
“I was walking my daughter’s dog, along the side of the woods back there, and I saw something white in the woods,” Smith told CBC. “I walked in the woods to see what it was. I never seen a puffball that big in my life before.”
Smith picked the mushroom and brought it home. It weighs about 15.4 pounds with a diameter of 50 cm, according to the retiree.
“I thought it was kind of special.”
Smith’s granddaughter Kaylie Ngo snapped of photo of her grandfather with the puffball and posted the image to Facebook Sunday. It has since gained over 3,000 shares.
“My 84-year-old Grandpa from Mossley, Ontario wants ‘the internet’ to see this,” Ngo posted. “He is extremely proud of this find.”
Smith told CBC looking for puffballs is a hobby of his ever summer.
“I look for them once in a while because I know a few people who like them,” he said. “I don’t like them myself, but I give them to my friends.”
While Smith has tried puffballs once or twice in his lifetime, he says he doesn’t care for the “woody taste.”
“They say fry them in butter,” he told CBC.
The mushroom picker decided to give his giant prize to a friend to enjoy.
“It’s too big for one person. I imagine he’ll have to have a few friends to help him eat it. It’s a fair size.”
Residents in southwestern Ontario are accustomed to finding giant puffballs. In September 2011, Erin Oliver of Strathroy discovered a 18-pound puffball with a 1.5-metre circumference, according to London Free Press.
The article highlights the largest recorded puffball size at the time was 1.7 metres and was found in Slaithwaite, West Yorkshire, U.K., in October 2010.