One morning when I was dropping my son off for school late (AGAIN), I saw these unusual looking mushrooms growing in the grass under some conifers by the parking lot. They were HUGE –at least 3-5 inches across and reminded me of something out of Alice in Wonderland. Some of them were deep red, others deep yellowish-orange, and one was a silvery white.  All of them had these big warty light colored patches all over them. I was really glad I had my camera on me ; )   The yellower ones even reminded me a bit of a sesame seed hamburger bun LOL. Intrigued, I decided to check on wikipedia to see if I could figure out what they were. Right at the top of their article about mushroom was a picture of one Amanita muscaria just like what I had photographed. I was astonished to find what I was looking for so easily. It turns out they are quite poisonous and get their common name (fly agaric or fly Amanita) from an ancient practice of using them to attract and kill flies.

Amanita muscaria var. formosa. or possibly  var. guessowii ? Globe shaped, immature yellowish orange mushroom speckled with warts ALL over the cap. Resembling a sesame seed hamburger bun, this poisonous mushroom is surrounded by grass covered in beads of morning dew.

A mature reddish brown Amanita Muscaria mushroom,  with tan warts which has become  concave– exposing the open gills below,  stands on dew covered grass strewn with pine needles.

Immature red amanita muscaria mushroom (possibly var. flavivolvata ?) with tan warts on a lawn of brown and green dew drop covered grass mixed with clover.

A large red amanita muscaria var. flavivolvata mushroom stands on a lawn bejeweled with drops of morning dew. When seen at full resolution, even the shadows of each wart on it are visible, showing each facet of it’s 3 dimensions.Almost hidden behind it is a newly forming amanita muscaria. Beyond is a lighter colored, and oddly shaped, amanita muscaria var. formosa which is fully open, exposing the gills to view.

Two amanita muscaria (probably var. guessowii) mushrooms of different sizes and maturity on a dew covered field of grass and clover strewn with pine needles. On the very large one, one of the warts reminds me of the spaceship Enterprise.

Two amanita muscaria var. guessowii mushrooms  cuddle up together lovingly, surrounded by dew covered grass.

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Two amanita muscaria var. guessowii stand on field of dew covered grass. One is mature and open–but partially eaten by pests, the other immature and sheltered under cover of the older one. Both have characteristic light colored, bumpy warts  and yellowish orange coloring which is a deeper, redder color in the center.

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