This iconic toadstool is not too difficult to find on the Chevin at this time of year. It is classified as poisonous, and crops up throughout popular culture, from Victorian literature such as Alice in Wonderland, to video games (Super Mario). We saw several examples last year on the excellent fungus walk organised by the Friends of Otley Chevin Forest. I learned a lot about fungi, not least that identification can be really tricky, and combining this knowledge with an awareness of the risk of poisoning, I resolved to never eat the fungi I find (I’ll leave that to the experts). Interestingly, some fungi are poisonous only at a certain stage of their growth, some are poisonous only to certain people, and some are poisonous only if eaten with alcohol. Also, the white spots on Fly Agaric can wash off in the rain, leaving it looking like the edible Caesar’s Mushroom.
Photos by Pixabay