In search of a clear head and some fresh air, the pup and I headed up to our favorite campsite on the Mogollon Rim north of Payson, Arizona this weekend. What I wasn't expecting was the mushroom extravaganza we stumbled upon...the question is...they say everything in Arizona wants to kill you. Does the same go for mushrooms? I did a little research to find out.
Say hello to my favorite mushroom of the weekend. It immediately reminded me of the house my beloved Smurf's lived in when I was a kiddo and then my brain thought, "hmmmm....level up? Like Mario?" After posting it on social media I received a ton of responses saying, "EAT IT!" My response? "Do you want me to die?"
Okay death may be an exaggeration with this little fella. But he is toxic. And he's not a mushroom you want to mess around with unless you REALLY KNOW what you are doing. It's a Fly Amanita. This pretty little cartoon-like mushroom has a history of use as a psychoactive going back thousands of years, but these days it is less popular than the psilocybin-containing species. Why? Because it’s poisonous. If the mushroom is processed properly, the toxic effects can be minimized, but it’s not something to play around with casually. And it's still said to cause nausea and vomiting, as well as hallucinations.
Okay the next two photos are of the same mushroom, but after combing the web for answers, I honestly couldn't tell you what it is - but I do believe its the same family as our toad stool friend. Perhaps a death cap mushroom? Either way, they sure were pretty - which always tells me to probably stay away. See how big they are with my hand comparison?
Side note: as mentioned I had my pup with me. Be VERY careful of your pups around wild mushrooms. It doesn't take much to poison a dog and even a little bit ingested can result in death.
This one looked like it should have been at the bottom of the ocean with tropical fish, not on land! I do believe it's a cauliflower mushroom but I could be wrong! If it is though, I'm told it's one of the most delicious mushrooms you can hunt and forage. I still don't trust it though haha!
And finally - the reason our mushrooms are growing so rapidly up north...a glorious Arizona monsoon season! This was my view from camp. And yes, I was soaked.