Seen From My Window
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
Species: A. muscaria
This was one of several Amanita muscaria that I could see growing just a few metres in front of me on my lawn as I sat at my computer a few days ago.
We are fortunate enough to have a beautiful Silver Birch in our front garden,and Amanitas love Silver Birch.
Each autumn there are anywhere between 20 & 40 big red toadstools sprouting out of our front lawn at any one time.
Its certainly a sight to behold from my computer table.
Here is the standard Fly Agaric info, copied as usual from Wikipedia:
Amanita muscaria, commonly known as the fly agaric or fly Amanita, is a poisonous and psychoactive basidiomycete fungus, one of many in the genus Amanita. Native throughout the temperate and boreal regions of the Northern Hemisphere, Amanita muscaria has been unintentionally introduced to many countries in the Southern Hemisphere, generally as a symbiont with pine plantations, and is now a true cosmopolitan species. It associates with various deciduous and coniferous trees. The quintessential toadstool, it is a large white-gilled, white-spotted, usually deep red mushroom, one of the most recognizable and widely encountered in popular culture. Several subspecies, with differing cap colour have been recognised to date, including the brown regalis (considered a separate species), the yellow-orange flavivolata, guessowii, and formosa, and the pinkish persicina. Genetic studies published in 2006 and 2008 show several sharply delineated clades which may represent separate species.
Although generally considered poisonous, it has been consumed as a food in parts of Europe, Asia, and North America after parboiling in plentiful water. However, Amanita muscaria is now primarily famed for its hallucinogenic properties with its main psychoactive constituent being the compound muscimol. It was used as an intoxicant and entheogen by the peoples of Siberia and has a religious significance in these cultures. There has been much speculation on traditional use of this mushroom as an intoxicant existed beyond Siberia, however, such traditions are far less well-documented. The American banker and amateur ethnomycologist R. Gordon Wasson proposed the fly agaric was in fact the Soma talked about in the ancient Rig Veda texts of India; although this theory has been refuted by anthropologists, it gained common credence when first published in 1968.
The common name in English is thought to have been derived from its European use as an insecticide, when sprinkled in milk. The fly-killing agent is now known to be ibotenic acid. An alternative derivation proposes that the term fly- refers not to insects as such but rather the delirium resulting from consumption of the fungus. This is based on the medieval belief that flies could enter a person's head and cause mental illness.
.... oo er !
Thanks for looking.
red45, roges, valy67, matatur, maurydv, cmarzano has marked this note useful
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- [2009-04-28 4:44]
Wowrhg! Mental illness sounds scary. But I'm very hungry now, so I can even eat this fat Amanita. It looks great!
- [2009-04-28 5:32]
this is lovely one. Bright red with contrasting white rod.
Very sharp and very exciting to note.
well compose in its majestic look.
- [2009-04-28 6:05]
Wow Steve !
What giant mushroom!
Colors are excellent as well as their contrast.
Very interesting and the description offered.
A beautiful day,
is this a big one???
beautiful colours and good sharpness
Hello Steve! Very sophisticated guy. Perfect shot. Good contrast and sharp. Well done!
- [2009-04-28 7:03]
Hello Steve !
I'm looking for these mushrooms every year, in so many ifferent forests, and I never saw any - not a single one ! nd you have them growing in your garden ? Wow, you're so lucky ! :-) I love the vivid contrast between the red mushroom and the green grass, and super details, it's a geat picture. Very well done !
Ciao Steve, beautiful fungi with wonderful colors, excellent sharpness and great details, very well done, ciao Silvio
Well, you surely must have one of the best windows opening to the nature Steve, this is a beautiful mushroom image captured quite sharply under ideal illumination, TFS it indeed!
a great view of Amanita muscaria, superb sharpness and vivid colours, a very pleasant composition.
- [2009-04-29 22:05]
A room with a view Steve!
And what a view! A great shot of a fine specimen of the Fly Agaric taken from a great POV in excellent lighting and with striking contrast against the lawn grass.
Amazing that you have these growing in the lawn. It must be, as you say, in association with your birch tree though with us they grow in profusion under our pine trees, but they also are found in our birch forests.
I wonder if they are native to NZ or have they been accidentally introduced?
Thanks and cheers,