Of course that is a gross generalisation. There are many bizarre puffballs, some of which I have found around the Hunter Valley and will share in the future.
The habitat for my extended observation was an unimproved grazing paddock. Weather conditions throughout the study in November were varied. Maximum daytime temperatures ranged from 20s to 40s, with some very strong north-westerly winds and cool southerly breezes, along with a few short light to heavy showers.
Calvatia cyathiformis is a terrestrial puffball, relatively smooth and spherical or slightly flattened when young, often becoming pear-shaped as it matures.
Day 10 - skin loosens and begins to break away
The skin dried and started cracking on day 5. By day 6 (second image) the tesselated surface revealed the fleshy spore-bearing mass beginning to turn purple, and by day 8 had started lifting. I took photographs every two or three days.
Day 20 - the puffball skin has fallen away
I was rather surprised that the 'peeling' process took so long in the wet, windy conditions. The fragile structure didn't completely fall apart in the rain, instead, the rain just served to finish the discarding of the protective skin exposing the crumbling mature purplish spore mass to the elements.
Day 23 - the spore mass begins to disperse
The spore mass did not disperse all at once. Some broke off in clumps with the westerly winds, and some blew in the other direction with the southerlies. The spores continued to spread with a fine dusting around the fungus site, and after a heavy shower on day 29 the spores were completely dispersed, leaving the remaining soft leathery cup-shaped sterile base lightly rooted to the ground.
Day 29 - dispersal of spores is complete
During my month-long study, there were only a couple of horses in the paddock, but on day 30, cows were introduced to the paddock and a cow pie was deposited fair on top of the spent fungus, so I was lucky to complete my fungus observations.
Distorted shapes of Calvatia cyathiformis
Amazingly, if you inadvertently up-root one from it's foundations, it will still mature and complete it's life cycle without means of obtaining water or nutrients from the substrate. And as it does not produce chlorophyl, it also does not need sunlight.
Fungus season is approaching, so you might see these and other species of puffball popping up in your yard, local reserves or on roadside verges. They are not some dreadful lawn pest, but the marvelous reproductive vessel of a fungus that is going about it's valuable recycling work in the soil below.