I came across these Fly Agaric fungi the other day. Their scientific name is Amanita muscaria, and while not deadly like their close relative, the Death Cap, Amanita phalloides, they are really not recommended for eating, as they are strongly hallucinogenic and intoxicating! The Lapps have long used the fungus for this purpose and are reported to have picked up the habit by observing their reindeer, which if they eat the fungus are similarly affected. Indeed, the reindeer apparently like it so much that one way to round up the herd is to scatter some pieces of the fungus on the ground! If just cooked and eaten, some people will be greatly affected by hallucinations and, after dizziness and a stupor, will wake on a considerable high, but others will be hardly affected.
After careful reflection, I have decided to keep the location to myself!
This is a blog of natural history notes maintained and moderated by members of the management committee of the INHT: Fiona MacGillivray, Martin Armstrong, David Webster, Andrew Kent, Isobel Freeman, Bernard Hannett, Danielle Vessey and Alistair Hutchison, and our Centre Managers, Mandy and Fiona assisted by Beth and Jenny.
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Fiona MacGillivray, Chairperson
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