Yellow-Orange Fly Agaric. Mind-shatteringly toxic.
Amanita muscaria formosa, in false button and full veil stages.
Under hemlock in the bed of a recently-dried puddle, Graves Farm Reservation, Haydenville, MA
It’s mushroom season in Western Mass. After all the rain we’ve had they’ve been popping up everywhere.
Berkley’s Polypore Polyporus berkeleyi
Mixed black birch and hemlock forest, Mt. Toby State Reservation These things can grow up to 50 lbs. And they’re edible. I had a taste: very much like steamed shredded chicken, except, you know, a mushroom.
Painted Suillius Suillius pictus, with slug.
Mixed oak and white pine forest, Mt. Toby State Reservation
update—turns out painted suillii are also quite good eating. After taking this picture and doing the necessary identification research, I found an absurd cache of them on an island in Pawtuckaway State Park, NH, tasted a couple, found them amazing, and subsequently devoured a whole lot of them as salad components and pizza topping.
Giant Puffball Calvatia gigantea
Grassy lawn, Sunderland, MA
Puffballs are dee-licious—firm and chewy on the outside, spongy and soft on the inside. As you can see I took this one home. I sliced it, sauteed it in butter until golden brown, and ate it for lunch!
Amanita muscaria formosa
Found these growing in spongy, mossy soil, a mix of pine needles and oak leaves, at an altitude of about 500 feet, on the east side of the Pocumtuck Ridge.
If you haven’t read the Wikipedia entry for fly agaric, do it. Crazy and fascinating stuff.