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Do you believe in fairies?

Do you believe in fairies?
Photo Information
Copyright: Karan Little (hester) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
Genre: Fungi
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-10-19
Categories: Fungi
Camera: Canon 350D / Digital Rebel XT, Canon 100mm 2.8 Macro
Exposure: f/9.0, 1/6 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Fly Agaric - Amanita muscaria [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-10-21 3:29
Viewed: 4416
Points: 42
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I took this Amanita Muscaria less than a week ago just as it was emerging from the ground. I will post the picture again as a workshop. Ad you can see the veil is breaking up and the red cap can be seen underneath.

Do you believe in fairies? well you might if you ate one of these as they have hallucinogenic properties but they are also highly poisonous.

A. muscaria was widely used as a hallucinogenic drug by many of the peoples of Siberia. In western Siberia, the use of A. muscaria was restricted to shamans, who used it as an alternate method of achieving a trance state. (Normally, Siberian shamans achieve a trance state by prolonged drumming and dancing.) In eastern Siberia, A. muscaria was used by both shamans and laypeople alike, and was used recreationally as well as religiously.

The Koryak of eastern Siberia have a story about the fly agaric (wapaq) which enabled Big Raven to carry a whale to its home. In the story, the deity Vahiyinin ("Existence") spat onto earth, and his spittle became the wapaq, and his saliva becomes the warts. After experiencing the power of the wapaq, Raven was so exhilarated that he told it to grow forever on earth so his children, the people, can learn from it.

Beyond Siberia, there are only isolated and unconfirmed reports of the hallucinogenic use of A. muscaria. One source mentions that it was once used among the Sami people, but no firsthand accounts of this exist. Hartmut Geerken claims to have discovered a tradition of recreational use of this mushroom among a Parachi-speaking group in Afghanistan. There are also unconfirmed reports of religious use of A. muscaria among two Subarctic Native American tribes, the Ojibway and the Dogrib.

There are also claims that A. muscaria played in important role in a number of ancient religious rites, though these claims tend to be speculative and highly controversial. The best known of these claims is R. Gordon Wasson's proposition that A. muscaria was the Soma talked about in Rig Veda of India, and is less often also thought to be the amrita talked about in Buddhist scriptures.

The British writer Robert Graves theorizes in a preface to his book, The Greek Myths, that the Dionysian rites were conducted under the influence of this mushroom. John Marco Allegro argues in The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross that the Christian religion is derived from a sex and psychedelic mushroom cult, although his theory has found little support by scholars outside the field of ethnomycology. In Magic Mushrooms in Religion and Alchemy (formerly called Strange Fruit) Clark Heinrich interprets A. muscaria usage by Adam and Eve, Moses, Elijah and Elisha, Isiah, Ezekiel, Jonah, Jesus and his disciples, and John of Patmos. In the book Apples of Apollo the mushroom is identified in a wide range of mythological tales such as those involving Perseus, Prometheus, Heracles, Jason and the Argonauts, Jesus and the Holy Grail.

Victims of Amanita muscaria poisoning are generally either young children or people ingesting it for a hallucinogenic experience

cataclysta, bobcat08, lise, SunToucher, horia, uleko, NellyD, gracious, warnzy, nglen, dB_grafix, Evelynn, Alex99 has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Karan
I see that you joined the fungi team :-) Very nice sharp image. Good composition and exposure in the dark forest
I like it very much

Hello Karan,

This is the beginning from a beautiful fungi. I like this one very much. Maybe I believe in fairytales?? I see little gnomes under the cap (-: Your photo is a nice one.Beautiful natural colours. Nice FG and a good BG. The brown and yellow leaves on the ground make the autumn mood perfect. Thanks. regards and TFS Bob

Hello Karan,
An interesting specimen, captured with very good details!
There is no doubt this is mushroom season, and we can enjoy many of them these days...
This is a colourful mushroom, nicely presented in a well composed image!
Pablo -

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2007-10-21 5:54]

Hello Karan,
Fantastic light and colours in this photo. I don't believe in fairies, but even more in your photo-qualities. Very, very beautiful.

  • Great 
  • lise Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 169 W: 48 N: 548] (2877)
  • [2007-10-21 5:57]

Hi Karan,
This is a very interesting mushroom! Your note gave me good information on that fungi.
Wonderful colours and POV
Very well done and TFS

Hi Karan,
Nope don't believe in faries, but I do like the stories on how they are created. Most of them do have some great wisdom.

I like your follow up photo a lot. it shows how fast the fungi is growing. It does look that this one might turn out to be a beauty. (Still haven't found a beauty in my neighborhood) The lighting and DOF in this photo are very beautiful. It shows all the details of the fungi and also gives it a warm touch.

Did you use a brush to clean it?


  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-10-21 7:47]

Hi Karan

Well i don't really believe in fairies, nor am i fan of hallucinogenic substances...i do plenty of day dreaming as it is, don't need anything to help me do even more :))
Again a very nice shot of this little mushroom.
In opposition to the other one, i see you've used the flash on this one - element that got you some extra light in the BG, too and gave a better saturation to the colors of the urrounding leaves.
That aside, he same excellent sharpness and a great DOF - a tiny bit bigger that the other one, but makes all the differnece.
Wonderful work!

Bravo and TFS

Hello Karan
A very well composed picture with great use of flash..a lovely low pov with a really nice foreground and background of leaf litter.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-10-21 8:56]

Hello Hester,
That's a very fine specimen of these poisonous fungi. I like the low POV and the textures shown here and the colours are beautiful too. Great sharpness and a beautiful composition.
Many thanks, Ulla

Hi Karan,

That's a very beautiful fungi.
Good sharpness, BG, composition, details and lovely natural colours.
I like it!

Greetings, Nel

great light, great pic, TFS Ori

Hello Karan,
This is a good shot with the exposure and focus spot on!
good use of light with total clarity, vivid colour and details
thanks so much for the wonderful notes

Hi Karen,

Great composition and pov; you really are offering us a window into the word of fungus! Technically excellent and a really interesting one to look at. Super shot.

Kind regards,


  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2007-10-21 12:39]

Hi Karen. Just marking your very good photo as i am very short of time.

Hi Karan,
Fascinating photo of this type. I sure enjoyed the nots you found on it.
Very nicely detailed macro, TFS.

Hi Karan, splendid fungi with wondeful colors, beautiful deatails and excellent sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-10-21 18:45]

Hello Karan

Birth of a mushroom.The details are sharp with excellent focus.The colours are natural and well saturated.I walk around the forests all the time and rarely find interesting fungi.The fungi in my area is just not photogenic.The fly agaric is! TFS


This is a nice sharp image with wonderful color Karan. I like all the forest litter and the off center subject. Nice work!

Evelynn : )

Hi Karen,
I think I will pass on eating the mushroom for sure, although I love mushrooms but don't need the side effects from eating these! I do love your photo, great color and excellent close up shot of the colorful mushroom!

Hi Karan,
Very nice composition with this amanita, lovely composition with great colors and détails
very well done
tank you

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-10-25 10:09]

Hi Karan.
Amazing close-up picture of so beautiful fungi. Wonderful flash light, lovely rich colours, great details and sharpness of the image, smooth passage to blurriness. Bravo and best regards.

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