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The Quintessential Fungi

By Terry L    
Taken today at Beacon Wood Country Park, Bean, Kent. There were absolutely hundreds of these fine fungi in various stages of growth, a quite magnificent display.

The Fly Agaric, Amanita muscaria, is a hallucinogen and must be considered poisonous. These attractive fungi often appear in groups and are a common sight in all kinds of woodlands.

Usually recurring in the same place for several years, Amanita muscaria is found frequently throughout the northern hemisphere, including Britain and Ireland, mainland Europe, Asia, the USA and Canada.

Young Amanita muscaria fruitbodies are covered entirely in pointed white warts. When they first emerge from the leaf litter of the forest floor, the young fruitbodies are covered entirely in pointed white warts. As the caps expand the red pellicle shows through until eventually the cap comprises mainly red skin with white warts distributed more or less evenly across its surface. Heavy rain or even contact with animals is sometimes sufficient to remove some or all of the white flakes from the cap of a Fly Agaric, so you may see some 'bald' specimens.

The common name Fly Agaric is a reference to the tradition of using this mushroom as an insecticide. In some European countries caps of Amanita muscaria are crumbled up and placed in saucers of milk to attract house flies. The flies drink the milk, which contains toxins - they are soluble in water and hence in milk also - dissolved from within the mushroom, and the flies soon become drowsy, collapse and die (or they simply drown in their spiked milk drink). The specific epithet muscaria comes from the Latin word musca, meaning 'a fly'.

Tags: Park Fungi Bean Kent Country Fly Woodland Agaric Wildlife and nature

Voters: NaturesHaven, CanonMan, Philip_H and 44 more

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Rev2 12 302 2 England
28 Oct 2014 6:24PM
A very nice, well taken shot. My knees are hurting just looking at it!
taggart Plus
18 47 15 United States
28 Oct 2014 6:32PM
A pretty one, delightful!
cabbie Plus
15 31 United Kingdom
28 Oct 2014 6:51PM
A fine capture well done

ade123 9 285 1 United Kingdom
28 Oct 2014 6:52PM
A brilliant image Terry outstanding photography

Greyheron 20 282 7 England
28 Oct 2014 8:21PM
Beautifully done Terry - good day for it too Wink

vickyf 17 8 8 United Kingdom
28 Oct 2014 8:34PM
Great image and a really interesting write up Smile
28 Oct 2014 9:18PM
excellent image
bricurtis Plus
17 2.7k 53 England
28 Oct 2014 10:54PM
Lovely specimen - superbly detailed - great take Terry.
12 5.4k 130 United Kingdom
28 Oct 2014 11:59PM
An interesting and informative narrative supported by a top quality capture of this very fine specimen with superb colouring Terry.

Regards Nathan GrinGrinGrin
Maiwand 15 3 73 England
29 Oct 2014 9:26AM
Brilliant specimen Terry and a cracking good narrative.GrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrin
ali63 10 791 1 United Kingdom
29 Oct 2014 5:11PM
Perfection !!!!


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