October is Mushroom Month!

Here in the Pacific Northwest, autumn rains mean a sudden proliferation of mushrooms everywhere. It’s a glorious time for mycophiles. I’ve been doing some inner explorations with my favorite, A. muscaria, but I’ve also been having some more exoteric mushroom adventures, such as:

GLAMOURBOMBING MUSHROOMS – my friend Tilda posted recently about our cooperative guerrilla art experiment, where we made mushrooms out of various materials and left them amongst the trees and paths of a local park. She also made Amanita-shaped cookies for our tea party, but you’ll have to visit her blog to see those!

Our various mushroom art pieces

Our various mushroom art pieces

I used construction paper and popsicle sticks so these could be put right into the ground

I used construction paper and popsicle sticks so these could be put right into the ground

A fly agaric poking up amidst the leaves!

A fly agaric poking up amidst the leaves!

YACHATS MUSHROOM FESTIVAL – We also went to the mushroom festival in the coastal town of Yachats, Oregon. The whole town participates, with retail stores specializing in mushroom-related items, restaurants offering mushroom meals, and of course guided walks, lectures, and an exhibit hall.

The cafe where we ate had Amanitas in the window

The cafe where we ate had Amanitas in the window

No Amanitas here, but this window painting is wonderful

No Amanitas here, but this window painting is wonderful

This restaurant was filled with mushroom-shaped hats, including this beauty

This restaurant was filled with mushroom-shaped hats, including this beauty

The exhibit hall sign

The exhibit hall sign

Amanita muscaria in the exhibit hall (with a red card, meaning poisonous!)

Amanita muscaria in the exhibit hall (with a red card, meaning poisonous!)

On our guided walk, the expert opened up this small white mushroom to show it wasn't a puffball, but a deadly Death Cap amanita!

On our guided walk, the expert opened up this small white mushroom to show it wasn’t a puffball, but a deadly Death Cap amanita!

You never know what else you might find when looking for mushrooms!

You never know what else you might find when looking for mushrooms!

REAL AMANITA NECKLACE – One of my small art projects this month was making a necklace to wear to the mushroom festivals. I took a perfect real dried Amanita muscaria cap, and attached it to a piece of antler which I sanded down, and happened to just naturally look a lot like a mushroom stem!

No one could believe it was a real mushroom cap!

No one could believe it was a real mushroom cap!

Look at those beautiful gills!

Look at those beautiful gills!

MT. PISGAH MUSHROOM FESTIVAL – The second festival I went to was here in Eugene. Unfortunately, it was pouring rain while I was there, and everything was very soggy. But, the exhibit hall had over 300 specimens as usual, and was fantastic.

Someone found a couple really dark red fly agarics this year.

Someone found a couple really dark red fly agarics this year.

The ones on the far right look more like A. pantherina to me

The ones on the top right look more like A. pantherina to me, but I’m not an identification expert

Love the little ones!

Love the little ones!

The stamp you get when paying admission is an Amanita!

The stamp you get when paying admission is an Amanita!

Me in my mushroom hat, with my favorite mushroom in the background

Me in my mushroom hat, with my favorite mushroom in the background

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