It's been a while since I've uploaded some new pictures. This time of the year I spend most of my time outside looking for mushrooms in the forests in the neighbourhood.
This wellknown Fly agaric (or Amanita muscaria) is a mushroom that lives in symbiosis with birch, beech, pine or fir. It is considered poisonous, though rarely fatally so. The name "fly agaric" comes from its European use as an insecticide: crushed, dipped, or sprinkled in milk. It is a very easily exported species that has been imported to many countries outside of Europe with, for example, pine plantations.
This poisonous mushroom contains ibotenic acid, muscimol, muscazone and muscarine. Muscimol (3hydroxy-5-aminomethy-1 isoxazole) and ibotenic acid are the active hallucinogenic agent in Amanita muscaria.
Consuming the mushrooms in doses of over 1 gram can cause nausea but also can cause a number of other effects, depending on dosage, ranging from twitching to drowsiness, cholinergic effects (lower blood pressure, increase sweat and saliva), visual distortions, mood changes, euphoria, relaxation, and hallucinations. In near fatal doses it causes swollen features, high rage and madness, characterised by bouts of mania, followed by periods of quiet hallucination. Effects appear after 60 minutes or so, peak within three hours, but certain effects can last for up to ten hours. The effect per volume consumed is highly variable and individuals can react quite differently to the same dose.
Deaths from Amanita muscaria are extremely rare. The amount of chemical compounds per mushroom varies from region to region and from season to season. Older books list this mushroom as deadly. The majority of mushroom poisoning fatalities (90+ %) are from having eaten either the mottled death cap (Amanita phalloides) or the destroying angel (Amanita virosa).