Saturday, 5 November 2016

Fungi Time

It has been 'all go' here lately. Malcolm and I have been busy over the last week or so, firstly having a new boiler and heating system installed, then in choosing a new kitchen. Thankfully, things calmed down a bit this morning and we were able to get a nice - if a little windy - walk through Shipley Park. Of course, it being the beginning of November, it's worth looking out for the autumn season's fungi and we certainly found some nice ones this morning.
Nestled among the brown leaves, these Fly Agarics were not easy to spot, but their bright red caps, dotted with whitish spots looked almost edible in the low, autumn sunshine.
Famous for their hallucinogenic qualities, they are of course, poisonous to humans, their red colouring serving as a "warning not for consumption."
Fly Agarics were traditionally used as an insecticide - hence the name. The cap would be broken up and sprinkled into saucers of milk. It's now known to contain ibotenic acid, which both attracts and kills flies.
It is thought that the red and white colouring of the Fly Agaric, was the inspiration for Santa Claus' red and white suit as they were commonly seen on Victorian Christmas cards as a symbol of good luck. 
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