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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Fungus Amongus: The Pink Ones Are Toxic

Hiking Windy Hill 

Click on the toxic princess above
to really enjoy the details
But don't touch, 
if you run into  her on a post-rain hike
As was hoped for, we got a bit of those storms the Oregonians were so kind as to send down our way. Two guesses as to what quick crop the rain brings out in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

I chatted with a mushroom gathering fella close to the end of my hike at Windy Hill Open Space Preserve today. You aren't actually supposed to gather mushrooms in the Open Space, but what do you say? My husband saw another couple with at the top of the hill with collecting bags as well. Hopefully enough people are concerned about the possibility of eating the wrong 'shroom that the area doesn't get stripped of it's fungus-bearing potential.

This man was gathering mushrooms under an oak tree. I asked him about this pink beauty I'd snapped on my camera phone further up the hill. He knew just the spot she grew.

"Oh those are very toxic," he said in an English thick with a mellifluous some-kinda-European accent I couldn't place. "They are so toxic that if you even touch them with your fingers, the toxins will enter your bloodstream and .... " he made a vague gesture as to where I might now be, had I had the nerve to perhaps prop up this little pink-topped native plant to enhance her photographic possibilities. The location of his casual gesture was somewhere down the side of the trail in a rather steep ravine.

Don't eat the pink ones.

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