Yellow Houseplant Mushrooms (Leucocoprinus birnbaumii)

These appeared in one of my mother’s flower pots a day after we had our first rain in months. They grew rapidly.

Leucocoprinus birnbaumii, a common mushroom

Post-storm yellow mushrooms | Flickr – Photo Sharing!.

Leucocoprinus birnbaumii, day 2

common name Yellow Houseplant Mushroom
domain Eukaryota
kingdom Fungi
phylum Basidiomycota
class Agaricomycetes
order Agaricales
family Agaricaceae
genus Leucocoprinus
species birnbaumii
location Central Texas
IUCN status Not tracked

Early morning local fauna

Seen on the stoop early this morning.

We used to have Mediterranean Geckos all around the house. Since moving back I rarely see them, but I do see this Texas Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus olivaceus) regularly.
Texas Spiny Lizard on our front porch

Agelenopsis (species uncertain), a.k.a. a Grass Spider. He’s lost a leg, possibly to one of the resident lizards. He’s fairly large; his body is about an inch long.
Grass spider


I’m so embarrassed Joe Barton is from Texas

The New York Times covered Congressman Joe Barton’s apology to BP for our asking them to pay for their damages, and then his retraction. I commented, and so far 114 readers have recommended – a new record (previously it was 14). To put that in perspective, though, the most-recommended comment is sitting on 332 recommendations.

I know, it’s not all about me, but I like the illusion of validation.

As a native Texan, I am sadly more and more embarrassed by certain factions in the state I love. Let’s hope that this makes all politicians think twice before favoring a rapacious foreign company over the people of the U.S., and the environment of which we are all stewards.


Billie Page Odom

Billie Page Odom was born Billie June Page on April 16, 1926, in Italy, Texas. Italy is a tiny town about an hour south of Dallas, full of green fields and trees. The eighth of nine children born to Rufa Emma (née Adair) and Collintine Page, Billie was old enough to remember the Depression and worked hard to provide for herself Billie Page Odomand her family all her life.

Billie began her career in the radio and film business in Houston, Texas, working for Gordon Barton McLendon (my husband’s namesake). Gordon is known for his pioneering work, and is credited with being the inventor of format radio (all news, easy listening, top forty, and so forth). Billie did everything from editing films and working as Gordon’s executive secretary to hosting her own radio spot. Her work eventually brought her into frequent contact with celebrities (including George Carlin, whom she and Gordon discovered), and migrated her to Hollywood, San Francisco, and eventually back to Dallas, Texas.

Billie married WWII Marine veteran Homer Hugh Odom sometime in 1958, and their son (my husband) Barton Page Odom was born March 23, 1960. After a few years Billie realized that life with Homer was not the best situation for her and a small child. In the early ‘60s she divorced him, and became a single mother, which was unfashionable at the time but which she managed wonderfully.

Billie was generous to friends, family, and charity, and despite working full time was closely involved in Bart’s youth and education. She loved word games (she was unequalled at Scrabble) and cards, particularly bridge. She had fabulous taste and a ready, sharp wit, tempered by innate kindness.

Perhaps because of his portrayal of strong, fabulous female forms, as well as his Art Deco sensibilities, Billie collected Erté serigraphs. And perhaps to keep her personal focus on her motherhood, she collected Madonnas in various forms.

I first knew Billie through my friend Cynthia, who had been close friends with her since the early 80s. I met her in the early 90s. In 1994, when I was considering joining the Episcopal Church (being interested in the priesthood and being female do not work in the Roman Catholic Church), Billie kindly went with me to the Foundations of Faith classes at the local parish, and gave me a copy of the Book of Common Prayer. She had inscribed it herself, a difficult thing for her at this point, since she had grappled with crippling rheumatoid arthritis since her early 40s.

Billie passed away of hospital pneumonia on May 16, 2002. We miss her keenly, but are grateful to have known her. I am particularly grateful to her for giving me a husband that respects and loves strong women.

*Mildred, Jewel, Juana, Marguerite, Vivian, Mary, Carl, Billie, and Ray