Saturday, February 25, 2017

Urban mushroom diary - autumn 2016

Each autumn I look forward to the appearance of the mushrooms. They don't appear in nature exclusively, they also appear in culture. Suddenly you see them in shops, in restaurants and in the media. It's interesting to see how fungi take over the world - for one season.

I'll start with the mushroom pictures that I saw in the free Metro magazine and I'll finish with an XKCD comic. The free Metro pictures have passed an impressive array of selection filters: you notice mushroom - you photograph it - you mail it to Metro - editors select and publish the picture. So it's a small, but representative cultural sample.
A little pearl - Natasja Bergen - Metro - 7 september 2016 - Amanita muscaria
What can we conclude from this small sample:
  • this year we had a very long (cultural) mushroom season: september - december
  • big, conspicuous, beautiful and culturally relevant mushrooms get noticed and photographed
  • people like mushrooms and associate them with other symbols of autumn (thank you captain obvious!)
  • it is (almost) impossible to determine mushrooms from photographs
Then I saw these glass mushrooms in a fashion shop in Thun, Switzerland - 14 September 2016
As usual in "cultural" (not "cultured") mushrooms, these are: Amanita muscaria
I'm totally not ready for autumn - Pascal Doeleman - Metro - 19 September 2016
This could be: Leccinum aurantiacum, probably not Boletus erythropus
The mushrooms are coming again - Ingrid Altena - Metro  - 26 September 2016
Possibly: Lepiota procera probably not Agaricus sylvaticus
Then I saw these autumn symbols in a household shop in Rotterdam - 1 October 2016
Amanita muscaria again, combined with autumn leaves, pine cones, gnomes, pumpkins and several small forest animals.
Autumn in our garden - Geny B-v.T - Metro  - 28 October 2016
Possibly: Lepiota procera
Close up of a mushroom - Hetty van Veen - Metro  - 20 November 2016
Impossible to determine ...
Then I saw these mushroom-lamps in a household shop in Rotterdam - 20 November 2016
Again: Amanita muscaria and some phantasy mushrooms (or pine trees?)
The beauty of nature in autumn - Joy de Bruin - Metro  - 30 November 2016
Wooden mushrooms as a Christmas decoration - 10 December 2016
Most likely: Boletus and Coprinus :-)
A mushroom placemat in the pancake house in the woods - 26 December 2016
Mold shapes made from a woolen carpet - 31 December 2016
Lizan Freijsen - The living surface - in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

And from Google Trends it's obvious that interest in mushrooms is a seasonal phenomenon.
The peak seems to lie in September and October.
This is the search frequency for (in Dutch): mushroom, fly agaric and boletus edulis.

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