Thursday, October 19, 2017

Urban mushroom diary - 13 - summer 2017

Urban mushroom diary - 13 - summer 2017
Particles of deep topography - 28 - mushrooms

I'm always looking for city mushrooms in nature and culture. Interesting how fungi take over the world.
I've collected many place descriptions through the years. I publish them from time to time. I add pictures when suitable.
Links to previous chapters are listed at the end of this post.

Text: A Death in the Family by Karl Ove Knausgaard, translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett
Text: Gateways to Abomination (Matthew M. Bartlett)

At first I thought I had seen a young death-cap, Amanita Phalloides, but it does not fit the description so well. Maybe Amanita vaginata. It grows under beech trees but maybe it's just growing from the wood chips. I give up on this one. It's simply too difficult.

31 July 2017 - Oostvoorne - As mentioned in the previous post, it's strange, and frustrating, that a mushroom with a definite name and species, can still be so elusive. Somewhere, someone knows its name, but that's not me:
This applied to everything. If I saw an insect I hadn’t come across, I knew that someone must have seen it before and categorised it. If I saw a shiny object in the sky I knew that it was either a rare meteorological phenomenon or a plane of some kind, perhaps a weather balloon, and if it was important it would be in the newspaper the following day. If I had forgotten something that happened in my childhood it was probably due to repression; if I became really furious about something it was probably due to projection, and the fact that I always tried to please people I met had something to do with my father and my relationship with him. There is no one who does not understand their own world.
In the old park leading up to the dunes and the seaside. Most likely an Agaricus and probably edible. All these mushrooms are pleasant and friendly, totally different from the mushrooms in horror stories:
The tree trunks were sprawled, glistening, mottled with black lichen in intricate patterns, looking for all the world like malignantly eschatological graffiti. The ground around them was thick with varicose roots twining through, around, and over soft mushrooms the size of chair cushions. Some of them were partially collapsed or split with gaping fault lines, revealing their inner craggy textures. They seemed to breathe out a pulsing fog, fetid, fusty.
14 August 2017 - Rotterdam - More of the beautiful and edible Leccinum duriusculum, both young and mature. A day later someone had picked these beautiful mushrooms. It's atypical of the Dutch to pick wild mushrooms, they have a mycophobic culture.
And, in the same spot, a mushroom that does not look like a Russula. It could be Agrocybe cylindracea.
18 August 2017 - Rotterdam - At the Rotterdam train station. I give up on this one too. But I'm happy with having caught a mushroom in such a cultural, urban space.
19 August 2017 - Rotterdam - The first signs of the cultural mushroom season. Friendly plastic mushroom, made in China. I'll never put something like this in my house, but I like to see them in shopping window displays.
27 August 2017 - Rotterdam - Armillaria mellea in the city park. A ubiquitous weed of the mushroom kingdom. I should check if they give light in the dark. Note: That's no irony, they really seem to do this.
This could be some Lactarius or Panellus or Lentinus. As always, impossible to determine for sure:
In the green light, I felt my eyes sliced open and drained, and new eyes grew like mushrooms in their place.


  1. Beste uairR01, ik zie dit nu pas: Zeker een hele aardige vertaling/samenvatting, dank!Ik ben ook idd nog steeds de enige met deze visie op Michael Jackson en die visie is nooit onderuitgehaald ook :)
    Maria van Daalen

    1. Thanks for the reply! I really like creative ideas even if they're a bit wild :-)