To see these cheery mushrooms poking up after our autumn rains always makes me smile. We have a spot on our property where they appear in great numbers. Here is how Fly Amanitas, Amanita muscaria, look with they first appear.
Then they open up and reveal their true selves.
Here is one with a "baby" underneath.
Our golden retriever, Sunny, does his best not to step on them as he heads down into the forest.
These mushrooms have hallucinogenic qualities. It's possible to parboil the toxins out, I've been told by mushroom expert David Arora. I prefer just to watch them evolve. They make me happy to look at them!
Fly Amanitas, Amanita muscaria, usually fruit in December or perhaps January. But Ron Champoux found one sitting as pretty as you please on March 24th. As an experienced mushroom forager once said, "That's why wild mushrooms are called wild!"
Thanks to Ron for allowing me to share his photo with you here. To see an Amanita muscaria holiday wreath, here's the link: http://www.mendonomasightings.com/2011/12/20/a-beautiful-fly-amanita-wreath-created-by-carol-kozal/ and to see a Fly Amanita shaped like a flying saucer, here is that link: http://www.mendonomasightings.com/2012/01/15/fly-amanita-that-looks-like-a-flying-saucer/