Amanita Muscaria

October 31, 2017

Amanita muscaria

Photographer: Monika Landy-Gyebnar 
Summary Author: Monika Landy-Gyebnar

Amanita muscaria or fly agaric is a well-known and fairly common mushroom in the Northern Hemisphere. Dwelling in mostly cool spruce-fir and birch forests, it needs the presence of these trees to grow as they're connected in the mycorrhiza to the trees' roots. This mushroom is also well known for its psychoactive, hallucinogenic poison and was widely used as a shaman mushroom for thousands of years.

Amanita muscaria might be the first mushroom children see in picture books or fairy tale illustrations, so it's often the first mushroom they draw. Its red and white coloration is not only beautiful but is it easy to spot in the forests and rather easy to identify. The vivid coloration makes it a favorite for photographers too since they look like red lanterns on the dark forest floor, especially in mid to late autumn when most of the green-colored vegetation has disappeared. I was really lucky to come across this beauty because in the area where I live, the Bakony Mountains of Hungary, they're seen only infrequently. Photo taken on October 5, 2017.

Photo Details: Camera Model: NIKON D5300; Focal Length: 10.0mm (35mm equivalent: 15mm); Aperture: ƒ/2.8; Exposure Time: 0.0031 s (1/320); ISO equiv: 1600.