April 1st – Mushroom Season

Mower Mushroom or Panaeolus foenisecii (?)

There are two things well suited to this damp, warm weather – ducks and mushrooms.

There’s a world of mushrooms out there, which makes identifying them exceptionally difficult. Unlike other flora and most fauna, wild mushrooms can be sought after, and as previously posted in this blog, occasionally with dire circumstances.

When it comes to this small toadstool community, my best guess is Panaeolus foenisecii, or the Lawnmower Mushroom – labeled so because they often appear after mowing the lawn. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s incorrect, but hopefully someone can point me in the right direction.

If I am right, that’s worrying in itself. The Panaeolus foenisecii contain the hallucinogenic chemical psilocybin, and these mushrooms were found at my sons daycare. They are particularly dangerous for infants.

Fortunately this outcrop was located near the carpark, external to the centre itself. Predictably these mushrooms were destroyed at some stage during the day, I assume by an excited toddler who saw them as a challenge.

I’m also wondering if I should be worried now these data retention laws have been passed. Researching this crop took me to various “special interest” websites, including an internet forum where users seek advice on their finds, in particular those deliberately seeking hallucinogenic mushrooms.

It’s also suggested that having mushrooms pop up in your garden is a sign of a healthy, fertile lawn.

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