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Oct 19 2009

Spinster aunt discovers huge mushroom

Mushroom

Finally, a bulbous object worth talking about. Dig my ginormous whoppin Agaricus, baby.

39 comments

  1. ambivalent academic

    Whoa! That thing is friggin’ huge! Can you eat it?

  2. Comrade PhysioProf

    SHENANIGANS! You totally fucked around with perspective to make that thing look huge.

  3. Orange

    Don’t eat it. One of the Agaricus family is called death cap because it will eat your liver with some fava beans.

  4. Notorious Ph.D.

    I’m worried: Last time there was a mushroom on page one of this blog, you disappeared for eight months.

  5. tinfoil hattie

    ooh, this really makes me want to see your etchings.

  6. Pinko Punko

    Do we have amanita around here? I thought I saw some in our yard.

  7. Felicity

    I used the word bulbous minutes ago without reading this post. I was describing bad acne.

  8. Pinko Punko

    Orange- I did not know that Amanita and Agaricus were connected- I see that Agaricales is the family, and Amanita is the genera. Amanita is home to the death cap and the destroying angel, I believe, while Agaricales are the gilled mushrooms (thanks Wikipedia!).

  9. Pinko Punko

    Sorry, Agaricales is the order. Curses, Linnaeus!

  10. humanbein

    Fast and bulbous!

  11. thebewilderness

    Yum.
    We are wallowing in Cantharellus at the mo.
    Delish!

  12. slythwolf

    Holy shit, that mushroom is fucking enormous!

  13. Jill

    “SHENANIGANS! You totally fucked around with perspective to make that thing look huge.”

    Au contraire, mon frère! It really is that big. As a matter of fact, I just got a call from the international space station; they were wondering what the fuck is that thing on my lawn. They seemed relieved when I told’em; they’d initially thought it was a software glitch.

  14. Jill

    “Do we have amanita around here?”

    Yes, and some of’em are fatal!

    But only if you eat’em.

  15. Hedgepig

    What surprises me is that there is apparently a coffee shop on Savage Death Island. And is that a regular, large, extra large or jumbo cup you’re using there for scale?

  16. nails

    When I was a teenage hippy, a friend told me about how they happened upon a mushroom of roughly that size. They stuck it in a plastic bag and then in the fridge so that they could keep it, but it kind of just turned into a mass of black slime in those conditions. So I was like “Wow, that is a big piece of slime” when they showed it to me.

  17. Ron Sullivan

    By the visible stalk, I’m guessing that’s not a puffball. Pity: Even when they’re that big, puffballs are tasty sliced up and broiled like steak. Or so I’m told; I’ve only eaten them raw. They’re peppery!

    Eighty-some-year-old mountainclimber taught me this on a rainy Christmas Count when the birds were hiding and the fungi were popping. Also, how to tell a puffball from a young and stalkless killer mushroom: Slice it longitudinally. A baby killer shroom will show an outline of a mushroom with stem inside; a puffball’s just plain white. She showed us, too, and we all had little puffball snacks and lived to tell the tale.

    Do Not Try This Without Personal Instruction, I guess, Or Anywhere But Northern California.

  18. veganrampage

    The first paragraph of “We Have Always Lived in the Castle” by Shirley Jackson. Hi Hedgepig.

    “My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had. I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise. I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phalloides, the death-cap mushroom. Everyone else in my family is dead.”

  19. slythwolf

    @Ron Sullivan, I always thought the fun of puffballs was waiting for them to–mature, I guess is the best way I can think of to say it, in the fall and then kicking them and having them explode into dust. Did not know they were edible. Of course, I live in morel country; think that was what everyone was picking out of their back yards.

  20. arfeuse

    all this and Captain Beefheart quotes too – just when I thought the site could not get any better. I agree with Slythwolf – wait for it to get bigger and drier and then stomp it – mmm dusty.
    You have to make your own fun in the country. Blame!

  21. B. Dagger Lee

    It’s been so rainy in the Northeast that our mushrooms have mushrooms growing on them.

    Shirley Jackson!

  22. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    “Merricat, Merricat, would you like to go to sleep?
    Down in the graveyard, six feet deep!”

    By the size of that mushroom, I’m assuming the Great Texas Hill Country Drought of aught-8-and-9 has been broken.

  23. hero

    Hurray for fungal bulboulosity!

  24. simone

    Is it the caffeine that makes it become so ginormous?

  25. notalady

    I’m seething with mushroom envy!

  26. katrina

    That looks like Agaricus arvensis to me. Does it have purplish-brown laminas (what is the underside of a mushroom in English? lamina? flake? gill? Wordreference.com and the Oxford dictionary refuse to help.)

    There are some Amanita mushrooms that are good to eat and some Agaricus that are poisonous, so you can’t judge just by the genus.

    I’m going back over the IBTP archives today and laughing out loud at the wit. I really, really love you and this site.

  27. Chihiro

    Completely off topic but for any brits out there , there’s a programme on about a rape unit, they acknowledge the 5% conviction rate but I’ve blamed out loud at least 3 times so far, and it’s only been 10 minutes. Again focus on the victim, how was she raped? “Well she had been drinking” , yes it’s not because there was a rapist in the vicinity or anything. There was laughter from the officers when a woman is unable to articulate what happened to her. Typical that even a show dedicated to rape crime can be so full victim blaming! I wish ,wish, wish, the twisty law was real. If anyone is watching/has watched this I’d like to hear your thoughts. It’s rare to even see any acknowledgment of rape in the media, the last programme I remember that aired in the UK about this subject was about women who LIED about rape and their confessions. Blame, blame, blame.

  28. Hedgepig

    Hi veganrampage! That’s an entrancing opening paragraph. I need a good book.

  29. rootlesscosmo

    @katrina: I’ve usually heard “gills.”

    The Mycological Society people issue urgent warnings against eating any mushroom that hasn’t been OK’ed by a Really Really Expert Mycologist. All the same, every year or two a family of recently arrived Europeans, used to hunting wild shrooms (generally porcini, Steinpilse) back home, make a fatal mistake. I love mushrooms but this scares the hell out of me.

  30. Aunty Christ

    Chihiro, I’ll see your off-topic and raise you one. I haven’t seen that program(me), and can only speak for U.S. law enforcement reactions (and only then, I suppose, those I’ve seen), but what you describe sounds sadly familiar and very realistic. It makes me ill.

    About the mushroom: It sure is beautiful.

  31. arfeuse

    Chihiro – fellow UK resident here – watched about ten seconds of the programme, felt sick, had to retire to bed with camomile tea. Well done on making it as far as you did and retaining a blame-attitude. Actually the only upside that I can see is raising people’s awareness of police attitudes to & poor treatment of rape victims. And maybe at least it’s good to see some reality applied to the topic, no matter how depressing, rather than the usual glossy bullsh!t crime drama attitude: “TV show ratings dropping? Oh well, stick in some casual brutalisation of a glamorous woman, that should appeal to everyone”. GRRRRRRRRRR. Blameblameblame.

  32. Comrade PhysioProf

    “SHENANIGANS! You totally fucked around with perspective to make that thing look huge.”

    Au contraire, mon frère! It really is that big. As a matter of fact, I just got a call from the international space station; they were wondering what the fuck is that thing on my lawn. They seemed relieved when I told’em; they’d initially thought it was a software glitch.

    No wai! The whole thing was staged. How did those grass blades end up on top of the “mushroom”? HUH?

  33. Jill

    “The whole thing was staged.”

    OK, I’ll cop to it. The call I received was not, as I first joked, from the international space station. It was from my neighbor, complaining that the shadow cast by my giant mushroom was killing his pasture grass and starving his cattle. I put the grass on it to make it seem smaller so the sheriff, who came to take it into custody, wouldn’t buy his story. My ploy was successful; fortunately that sheriff isn’t the most sharply-creased pair of boot-cut Wranglers in the closet.

    I may have to chop that mushroom down today anyway, though, because pale people in flowing robes have started showing up to worship it. I’ve got a team of Alaskan loggers standing by, and holy shit, they’re almost as annoying as the mushroom worshipers.

  34. Amy

    Off subject but I thought you might have a thing or two to say about this:

    http://www.calbuzz.com/2009/10/schwarzmuscle-to-rape-victims-tough-luck-girls/

    Love your site and your pithy commentary!

  35. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Are you sure they’re mushroom worshipers and not Snuggy-wearing Satanists? Seriously. A person could be forgiven for thinking the ad in which the whole family is decked out in red Snuggies is a “Rosemary’s Baby” outtake.

  36. ivyleaves

    “I may have to chop that mushroom down today anyway, though, because pale people in flowing robes have started showing up to worship it. I’ve got a team of Alaskan loggers standing by, and holy shit, they’re almost as annoying as the mushroom worshipers.”

    By posting that, you will probably have one or two mushroom-top sitters holding out for weeks to prevent it from being cut down.

  37. socialworkerblamer

    It’s still raining today in central Texas and I also have more mushrooms than I can shake a stick at, although why anyone would want to do that is beyond me.

  38. She-cago

    I dig.

  39. PandanCat

    Mushrooms are the best. I still have my Mycological Society sweatshirt from my college years.

    Also, the story about the sheriff made my day.

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