Monday, September 26, 2011


When it comes to mushrooms, the genus Amanita is a well-known one and worldwide. Trouble is, there are about 600 species, some of which are edible and many of which are poisonous. I'm not one who is going to take the time to decide which these are and I'm certainly not planning to eat them. Better to simply enjoy their exquisite form.

 I suspect these are Amanita rubescens ("Blusher") but I have some misgivings about the extent of their redness. One can "bruise" them and watch for a telltale red tint or confirm the species with their spores. But that's too much work and it isn't that important to me.

 Beside the pond at the Farmersville-Jackson Twp. Joint Park on 09/25/11, vast numbers of these beautiful mushrooms rose through the pine needles beneath the White Pines. It was a gorgeous sight!

Below is one just pushed through the mat of needles.

 A close-up (below) of one of the caps seems to confirm that they are Blushers. If so, they are, as my Audubon says, "good with caution". Nope, not taking any chances here even though I could sure enjoy a mess of fried mushrooms.

 Another view of the cap. The whitish stalk makes me think "Panther" (Amanita pantherina). In that case they are clearly poisonous.

 On 09/26/11 I returned to find many of the mushrooms knocked over. Was it children playing among them, kicking them down? Still, many stood in the late afternoon sun and were as pretty as ever.

 Perhaps these are the "Booted" Amanita (Amanita cothurnata), another poisonous variety. It's hard to believe something this beautiful could be dangerous.

 Overnight we had nearly 3-1/2" of rain. I suspect these mushrooms found the pour-down rain perfect weather.

 I'll stick with morels for my plate. I can identify them easily and I never have to fear having my stomach pumped. These will serve only for photographs, a good enough enterprise anyway.