Oct
14
2007

Fall mushrooms in Michigan

Magic mushrooms: photo by Arthur Oglesby
Magic mushrooms: photo by Arthur Oglesby
While walking in the woods of Michigan (Upper Peninsula) I was amazed at the many mushrooms growing there. I think the one in my photo is an amanita muscaria var. formosa or guessowii, also known as fly agaric.

Most famous of mushrooms

This variety of mushroom has become famous because of its depiction in Alice in Wonderland (the perch for the hookah smoking caterpillar), the dancing mushroom sequence in the 1940 Disney film Fantasia, in children's picture books showing gnomes and fairies, and in the video game series Super Mario Bros.
Fly agaric fruiting bodies emerge from the soil looking like a white egg, covered in the white warty material of the universal veil. As the fungus grows, the red colour appears through the broken veil, and the cap changes from hemispherical to plate-like and flat in mature specimens.

How poisonous are they?

Many older books list this mushroom as deadly, but deaths from A. Muscaria are extremely rare. The amount and ratio of chemical compounds per mushroom varies widely from region to region, season to season, confusing the issue. Spring and summer mushrooms may contain up to 10 times as much ibotenic acid (poison) as compared to fall fruitings. According to some sources, the ibotenic acid is detoxified by conversion into muscimol when the mushrooms are properly prepared.

How reindeer fly

Amanita muscaria was widely used as a hallucinogenic drug by many of the peoples of Siberia. I have often heard about people drinking the urine of rheindeer that have eaten the mushrooms, or poor people drinking the urine of those wealthy enough to buy these mushrooms. I wonder if this started the myth about flying reindeer? One source in wikipedia even credits Santa claus and hanging stockings by the fireplace to amanita muscaria cultures.





Your rating: None Average: 4 (6 votes)








Your rating: None Average: 4 (6 votes)




Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Where did you find these mushrooms in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan?

posted on Sun, 08/31/2008 - 7:01am
ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

You can see more of my "magic mushroom" photos along with a map showing where they were at Picasa web albums (click the link in red).

posted on Sun, 08/31/2008 - 4:52pm
nancyphetsamone's picture
nancyphetsamone says:

i think that this was interesting that summer and spring contains 10 times the ibotenic acid than fall.

posted on Tue, 11/18/2008 - 11:21am
Juicy J's picture
Juicy J says:

This is quite interesting. I had no idea that reindeer liked to TRIP...just like some people. Althought that is quite funny it speaks a lot to our society.

Thanks,

Juicy J
<3

posted on Sun, 11/23/2008 - 3:35pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

really? I never lnew that is the kind of mushroom the caterpillar sat on!!!!! What washe doing on there again????

posted on Wed, 12/03/2008 - 12:02pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

thas coll

posted on Sat, 03/07/2009 - 10:50am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

he was smokin opium upon that bad boy, the guy was wacked on hallucinagons when book was wrote=:)

posted on Mon, 09/14/2009 - 5:13pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

CAN WE GET A DETAILED MAP TO THESE MUSHROOMS, I FEEL A TRIP TO THE U P MAY BE A GOOD LITTLE GET-A-WAY FOR THIS SUMMER....NOBODY HAS ANY GOODIES IN MY PART OF MI!!HELP ME....I WANT SOME GOOD SHRUMS SOON!!!!!! THANKS

posted on Thu, 02/25/2010 - 10:40am
ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

You can see more of my "magic mushroom" photos along with a map showing where they were at Picasa web albums (click the link in red).

posted on Thu, 02/25/2010 - 3:47pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

amanita muscarious is found throughout michigan but has many fatal look alikes so proper identification is crucial read up on it

posted on Tue, 05/03/2011 - 9:26pm
hookah's picture
hookah says:

how can we identify if the mushroom is poisonous or not. thank you for sharing this information.

posted on Mon, 08/09/2010 - 6:37am
ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

I have read that having a guide to teach you which mushrooms are edible is best.
I also heard the leader of a mushroom society died from eating a mushroom.
Some people react differently to eating mushrooms than others, so be careful.
Maybe start with only a small portion.

posted on Mon, 08/09/2010 - 11:32am
astridB's picture
astridB says:

Psychotherapeutic drugs could be costly to produce and rather unstable. One study, however, has discovered that the normal narcotic in magic mushrooms could be used to treat some psychological problems. The research found that spiritual participants that took psilocybin, the active narcotic in magic mushrooms, noted mystical experiences and better life fulfillment 14 months later. Controlled magic mushroom doses could have psychotherapeutic uses. Psilocybin is the active ingredient in what are usually referred to as “magic mushrooms,” or “God’s Flesh.” Magic mushrooms are just one of several drugs being studied for their potential uses in treating everything from cancer, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and a host of other mental disorders. LSD, ecstasy and magic mushrooms are all being studied by researchers as potentially therapeutic drugs.

posted on Sun, 10/02/2011 - 11:44pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

My wife and I have been doing shaman work for 30 years and we now live in the Upper Peninsula. We would like to experiment using mushrooms in ceremony. Could you please share the map you mention above as we could not find the link!
Thanks!
Daniel

posted on Tue, 01/10/2012 - 10:16pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Those are amanitas. Not magical psilocybes.

posted on Sun, 09/22/2013 - 9:51am

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