Our lush coastal rain forests are prime growing grounds for fungi of all kinds, including the bright red and white mushrooms — Amanita Muscaria — that pop up around this time of year at the base of trees. These highly toxic toadstools, also known as fly agaric, become prime objects of photographers looking to capture all the colours of autumn in the greater Vancouver area.
This fairy tale mushroom should not be consumed, but it can be photographed as these local shutterbugs have done:
The Thunderbird recently wrote about Amanita Muscaria and featured the Vancouver Mycological Society. This organization educates the public about the importance of mushrooms to ecology, the forests, and the economy. They also there to help people make sure they pick mushrooms that are safe to eat.
Should you wish to learn more, the Vancouver Mycological Society meets once a month at VanDusen Botanical Gardens and hosts various other events throughout the year.