Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Its Fairy Toadstool time again.

As I was driving back from Bowral this afternoon, towards Robertson, I stopped beside a long row of Radiata Pines, beside Kangaloon Road, in East Bowral (before the roundabout, opposite where the Christian School is). The reason was that the recent rains and cool weather have sparked the emergence of the Fairy Toadstools (Amanita muscaria) These introduced Fungi live in association with Pine Trees, especially, but often with other exotic trees. But Pine Trees seem to be their natural "partners".

As with all postings about Toadstools, especially ones with which there is some talk of psychotropic effects, I give a standard warning to not eat these Fungi. The recent deaths of some Chinese visitors to Canberra, from mistakenly eating Death-cap Mushrooms (a related species) should give anyone interested n "experimenting" pause for thought, especially as there is no known antidote to the effects of ingesting these Toadstools.

I like to publish photos of these Toadstools simply because I regard them as aesthetically pleasing - a triumph of Nature.

Amanita muscaria - a mature specimen

Amanita muscaria
Note the white gills and the
skirt-like ring on the stem.

Amanita muscaria
A fine colony under Pine Trees

Amanita muscaria
a perfect specimen

Amanita muscaria
a young pair of these Fairy Toadstools

Amanita muscaria
a new Toadstool just developing.
The white dots are left over as the white veil breaks up.

Amanita muscaria
a Toadstool just emerging -
still covered by the white "veil"

One of the things which is really obvious about these Toadstools is that most of the mature specimens have been partially eaten. From the dried slime markings around the Fungal fruiting bodies, it seems that they have been consumed by Slugs and Snails. They graze the red tops of these Fungi, as presumably that is the source of whatever it is they like.

Amanita muscaria
The red skin is grazed on by slugs or snails.


Betsy, Ivory Rose and Tusker said...

love blogs...get to see how the life is in other parts of the world. we get the same toadstools, but ours won't show up until late august/september! enjoy your fall. we are headed for spring...we hope!!

Denis Wilson said...

Just been to visit your Black and White world. Amazing stuff.
Great photos.
Glad we share an interest in Nature, and in Blogging.
Our Fairy Toadstools are introduced to Australia - the early European settlers brought live trees (with soil) and so we have ended up with vast numbers of imported weeds and fungi, etc.