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Pretty mushroom -- Amanita muscaria?

 
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rjlittlefield



Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 727
Location: Richland, WA, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 4:35 pm    Post subject: Pretty mushroom -- Amanita muscaria? Reply with quote



I found this picture today while rummaging around in photos from last summer. Nothing special, but I liked the colors in it.

A closer crop...


I have never looked at these mushrooms very closely before. It looks like the white spots might be left-over chunks of an outer shell that gets fractured and spread apart as the orange stuff grows.

Do any of you folks know about these things?

--Rik
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S. Alden
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Joined: 29 Apr 2004
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Location: Pennsylvania, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like you got an insect as well Laughing . I like mushrooms. They make for good photography subjects.
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Beetleman



Joined: 02 Apr 2006
Posts: 362
Location: Southern New Hampshire USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw a show on flies (or insects that hang with humans) one time (Discovery channel) and they said a long time ago, people used to cut these up and mix them with milk in a bowl and it would attract hords of flies and they would drink the the milk and die an ugly death...very poisonous....Fly Agaric. Great shots Rik.
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Ken Ramos
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Joined: 04 May 2004
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Location: Western North Carolina

PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rik stated:
Quote:
It looks like the white spots might be left-over chunks of an outer shell that gets fractured and spread apart as the orange stuff grows.


You're pretty close Rik. Those left over chunks are but remnants of the universal veil which covers the entire young fruiting body. The other remnants of the veil (the volva) can also be found at the base or hypothallus and just bellow the gill structure on the stem. This is sometimes refered to as the stem ring. Smile

Really nice and colorful shots Rik. I went shroom hunting last weekend but found none. Hopefully we will get sufficent rain here soon to spawn not only some mushrooms but slime molds as well. Very Happy
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rjlittlefield



Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 727
Location: Richland, WA, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Folks,

Thanks for the additional info. I did a bit of searching about Amanita and found (as usual!) that the world is more complicated than I had thought.

I had always thought that the Amanita's were universally lethal. It seems that's not correct.

Amanita muscaria in particular is widely discussed as an "entheogenic agent" (read "psychedelic drug"), with reported deaths at most rare. Very different from some other Amanita's, for example the "deathcap" Amanita phalloides and the "destroying angel" Amanita virosa, which also have the unfortunate feature of looking like a variety of edible species. Sad

The lethal versions are very nasty indeed. Their toxins act specifically on liver and kidney cells, and the progress of poisoning can be succinctly described as "you feel bad, then you feel better, then you feel really bad, then you die". Liver transplant is frequently mentioned as a specific treatment. Shocked

I think I'll just leave everything remotely like this very well alone. Having had some bad experiences even with prescription drugs, I'm pretty goosey about anything more psychoactive than caffeine.

Some interesting links root at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanita and many others can be easily found by searching Google for Amanita muscaria.

--Rik
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