There's a story about these mushrooms in front of the Norwich Library

Submitted 3 months ago
Created by
Tom Haushalter

Out and about in Norwich on this overcast but still lovely day, you may have noticed some folks (like me) bent down on the lawn in front of the Norwich Public Library.

We were trying to get a good look at the mushrooms that seem to have sprouted overnight. Muggy, moist, and under shade of tree—conditions were just right.

A fellow named Gabriel and his daughter Charlotte, from Westminster, Vermont, were admiring the fungi too, and I asked him if he knew what kind they were.

“These look like fly agaric mushrooms,” he said, noting the telltale pimply bumps on the surface of the cap.

Can you eat them?

“No, you definitely shouldn’t eat them.”

A little research confirms that fly agaric mushrooms are classified as poisonous, which has mostly to do with their psychoactive properties. Ancient cultures around the world have used it for any number of shamanic purposes—none of which we can recommend in the least. For the record.

Gabriel chuckled. He remembered hearing of Arctic tribes who fed these mushrooms to their reindeer, then would drink the animals’ urine to achieve, one assumes, a religious experience. (Again, not recommended.)

Check out the mushrooms while they’re there, and certainly the Norwich Library has a book you can borrow if you want to learn more.

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