This fall has been very, very kind to fungi. It’s been warmer on average most days this last October, but also good and damp. I’ve seen lots of very nice shrooms during our walks, but the fly agaric seems really enthusiastic. I don’t remember seeing ones this big in the past.
For reference, my feet are kinda huge. I wear a women’s size 10. Dat one big shroom.
The Blistex® tube is just under 2¾ inches. Ja. Big shroom.
Most fly agaric seem to come in red round there, but there are a few blondies. Here’s a little blonde baby shroom:
Those little holes something’s eaten into them makes me think of gnome homes. These are the best mushrooms for gnomic living. I think this is the formosa variation, which seem rather common around here.
Here’s a pretty awesome grown-up specimen of the classic variety, which looks like a jaunty tilted sombrero or sedge hat.
When you look at it from above, it kinda looks like a big pizza.
They’re really adorable when they’re little. They’re sorta like golfballs on thick tees, pushing up through the ground and leaf litter.
If I’m understanding the article on fly agaric correctly, these little white warts are remnants of something called a “universal veil,” which the fetal shroom is wrapped up in before it bursts out and morphs into a mushroom.
Don’t ask me why I find all these textures fascinating. I just do.
One of them had been pulled out of the ground, so I was able to have a close-up look.
This is what it might have become, had it not been so very rudely removed from the ground, and as long as the lawn mowers don’t come through soon.
And here’s a lovely little family.
Further down the way, someone else had decided to pull up a few shrooms, which gives us a great chance to see the gills.
I’m kind of a horrible scientist, because I can’t bear to rip them up like this. I’ve seen other people stop by to enjoy them, and don’t want to ruin their fun. Unlike the people who destroyed these. But even though a few are pulled up every year, a lot stay standing, which means that the people around here are actually considerate about their wanton destruction. Odd, that.
That’ll probably be about it for fly agaric this year. Weren’t they magnificent?
7 thoughts on “Fundamentals of Fungi: Fly Agaric Spectacular”
I hope you washed your hands afterwards, fly agarics aren’t exactly the kindest mushrooms for the human organism!
The little round agarics remind me of the end of this film, actually – and here’s a slightly retouched version.
I believe that fly agaric (Amanita muscaria) is a toadstool rather than a mushroom.
They’re all a bunch of fun guys to me.
I think “toadstool” is just a colloquialism, not a scientific distinction. At any rate, it redirects to “mushroom” in Wikipedia. A lot of people think “toadstools” applies to the poisonous ones.
Fungus Among Us!
If it makes you feel better, remember that the mushroom is just the fruiting body of a fungus in the ground. So you’re not pulling out a tree, you’re just picking an apple.
Awesome. While not exactly uncommon they truely are a magical sight.
The spots are are indeed remnants of when it bursts out of the volva.
So if there was heavy rain they could be washed off and the mushroom wuoudl just be red.
This is quite common in the amanita’s, as are the spots themselves.
Here’s a panther cap.
And here’s a blusher.
Sorry about going on but this time of year especially, I don’t need much of an excuse to talk about the magical world of fungi.
The Dutch word for mushroom, “paddestoel”, actually means “toadstool”.
And indeed, this fall has brought out beautiful mushrooms. One particular instance not far from where I live (sorry about the self promotion):
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