There are Fly Agarics in abundance on Bovey Heath at the moment.
It’s tricky to find one which hasn’t been partially eaten by slugs or kicked over by humans. Here they are last year in an attractive group:
Reindeer love them and get high after eating them. It can give them a sudden ‘rush’ and make them jump very high. Shamen from Siberia used them in mid-winter festivals (after drying them in socks hung over the fire). They used to wear red and white in honour of the fungus. It’s starting to sound a lot like our Christmas traditions, isn’t it? Theirs, however, was the gift of knowledge, rather than the gift of £250 of Chinese electronics.
Here they are in the 19th Century from the Atlas des champignons comestibles et vénéneux by Dufour:
They are endlessly fascinating.
I look forward to them every year, just like Christmas.
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