The common meadow mushroom (Agaricus campester), has again "come up over night", following the recent rains, and the hillsides of Paradise Valley are dotted with the white buttons - and with numerous pickers as well. Park visitors over the past week-end have carried hundreds of dollars worth (at current market prices of a dollar or more a pound), from the valley and the Naturalist has been turned temporarily into Mushroom Inspector, for no matter how certain the average person is in his own mind as to the identity of his mushroom he feels just a little better if somebody also, who is supposed to know verifies his conclusion.
On at least two occasions the "Inspector" has marked consignments N.G. In both cases the supposed delicacy was the deadly fly mushroom, (Amanita muscaria), gauranteed to kill in a few hours.
Nearly every eater of mushrooms has some pet "test" by which he determine whether or not his mushrooms are edible, and which he passes on to his friends for their benefit. We hear them daily. "Do they turn silver black?, Do they peel?, or Do they have white spores?" They have no intentions of killing their friends but sometimes they do.
There are no sure tests for mushrooms. You must know your species and be certain that you know it.
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