Saturday, 18 September 2010

Mushroom variety

The summer of 2010 was very wet, but … it is an exceptional good year for mushrooms! Fungi species that have been thought to be extinct suddenly re-appear in the Dutch forests. Every drawback has its gain, to quote the well-known motto of Holland’s most famous football player, Johan Cruyff.
The large variety of shapes and colours keeps inspiring me. Here are some (rather common) toadstools that I found in one of my local forest patches, “Refelingse Heide” in Nuenen.
  • Angel’s Bonnet (Mycena arcangeliana/Bundelmycena) – A tiny one, densely and disorderly stacked into a goblin pension.
  • Pearly Webcap (Cortinarius alboviolaceus/Lila Gordijnzwam) – A fibrous gilled mushroom that I have never seen before.
  • False Death Cap (Amanita citrina/Gele Knolamaniet) – The less familiar akin of the Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria/Vliegenzwam), see also my previous upload.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Psychedelic mushroom, or insecticide?

Thank God, not only that there are Fly Agarics (Amanita muscaria/Vliegenzwam), but also that they are very common. Every autumn these photogenic fungi can be found just ‘around the corner’. The light rain made the mosses appear fresh and vivid.
By the way, did you know that:
  • The name of this mushroom in many European languages is thought to have been derived from the fact that it was used as an insecticide, when sprinkled in milk.
  • Fly Agarics were used for its hallucinogenic properties (with its main psychoactive constituent being the compound muscimol) by the peoples of Siberia, and has a religious significance in these cultures.